A U.S. judge on Friday granted preliminary approval to a proposed $7.2 billion settlement between merchants and Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc over credit card fees, despite objections from hundreds of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc..
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If the deal receives final approval from U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson, it would be the largest federal antitrust settlement in U.S. history, offering nearly 8 million merchants $7.2 billion in cash and temporary reductions in the interchange, or swipe fees, they pay to process credit and debit transactions.
Nearly 1,200 merchants and major trade groups opposed the settlement, arguing that it would strip away stores' legal rights.
On Friday, Gleeson, a judge in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, called the objections "overstated."
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; Writing by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Leslie Adler)