Visa and Mastercard settle for $30B over card fees

Visa and Mastercard have agreed to a landmark settlement estimated at $30 billion, aiming to reduce credit and debit card fees for merchants, potentially leading to lower consumer prices. This antitrust settlement, announced Tuesday and pending court approval, seeks to conclude widespread litigation dating back to 2005 over accusations of excessively high swipe fees. Critics argue the reduction might not be sufficient, suggesting that while the settlement could offer temporary relief, overall fees might stay elevated. The litigation has focused on the companies’ practices of imposing high interchange fees on transactions and preventing merchants from encouraging less costly payment methods. With the proposed settlement, Visa and Mastercard will cut swipe rates by a minimum of four basis points for three years, a move expected to impact fees that typically range from 1.5% to 3.5% of transaction amounts.–News Desk