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At a summary judgment hearing in New York City, lawyers representing Visa and Mastercard asked to have an antitrust suit filed against them by Wal-Mart and four million other retailers dismissed, charging that their policies were pro-choice and not anti-competitive.

The suit, which dates back to 1996, maintains that Visa and Mastercard illegally used their market dominance to try and force retailers that accepted their credit cards to accept signature-based Visa and Mastercard debit or check cards which carry high transaction fees. According to the retailers, this policy hurt smaller debit card competitors in an emerging market.

At the same hearing, attorneys representing the retailers argued that the judge should find in favor of them without a trial, and use a trial scheduled for late April simply to determine damages -- which, depending on which estimate is used, could be as high as $39 billion.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson took both arguments under advisement, but made no ruling.
KC's View:
We keep wondering how they come up with a jury pool that won’t be dominated by people who hate the credit card companies, what with their usurious fees and obnoxiously aggressive attitude.

Consumers don’t like ‘em. Retailers don’t like ‘em.

If fact, is there anyone out there who likes ‘em?

There must be a thousand good reasons why Visa and Mastercard have resisted settling this suit, but we can’t imagine why they’d want to face a jury on this.