The Merchants Payments Coalition, a group of around 20 US merchant trade associations, has vowed to continue the legal fight against Visa and MasterCard over the non-negotiable interchange fees charged by the card companies.
The trade group was responding to Visa USA's decision to begin publishing its interchange fee schedule on its Web site in a bid to appease merchants angered by interchange fees charged on card transactions. MasterCard said in September that it would do the same.
But MPC maintains that the collective setting of interchange fees by Visa and MasterCard violates antitrust laws and costs merchants and consumers some $30 billion a year.
Mallory Duncan, chairman of the MPC, says the release of these interchange rates brings to light the need for further transparency.
"The report shows a bewildering array of rates for different cards, merchants and types of transactions, which emphasizes the opacity of interchange," says Duncan. "Without the operating rules that govern how these fees are applied, this announcement falls far short of the disclosure that is required."
There are currently dozens of anti-trust lawsuits filed by US retailers and trade groups such as the National Association of Convenience Stores against Visa, MasterCard and many card issuing banks over the setting of interchange fees.