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..
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.
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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)