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Retailers sue card processors

Some retailers rejected the $7.2 billion deal with Visa and MasterCard over future suits.

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Some retailers rejected the $7.2 billion deal with Visa and MasterCard over future suits.

NEW YORK — Some of the country’s largest retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc., on Thursday filed a lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa, rejecting a settlement reached last year over alleged fee-fixing.

A larger group of 19 trade associations and retail companies originally filed suit against the card processing companies in 2005, claiming they conspired to fix the fees they charge stores for handling payments made with credit cards.

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A $7.2 billion accord was reached in July, but some of the retailers rejected it, partially because it includes a provision barring them from filing future lawsuits over swipe fees. Some retailers also have argued that the settlement amount was far less than what they deserved and might have won at trial.

Earlier this week, the National Retail Federation, which represents more than 9,000 retailers across the country, urged its members to reject the settlement, in part because of the provision barring future lawsuits.

The retailers involved in the new lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Manhattan, also include Framingham, Mass.-based TJX Cos., Office Depot Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., and several others.

Visa spokesman Will Valentine declined comment, while MasterCard spokesman Jim Issokson would only say that his company remains confident the settlement will ultimately be approved. Other retailers have until Tuesday to opt out of the agreement so they can pursue their own legal action.

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