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Tennesseee and Ten Other States Sue American Express, MasterCard and Visa

By Knoxville Daily Sun staff

On Monday Dec. 20th Tennessee attorney General Bob Cooper announced that Tennessee has joined an antitrust lawsuit against the three big credit card companies.

The suit was filed in October with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The states allege that the customers are being charged "swipe fees." Merchants say they are unable to offer credit and debit users discounts, rewards, and information about credit card transaction costs. This ultimately makes an item cost a credit user more than a cash or check customer.

The credit card companies are also charged with increasing costs to retailers and merchants for using their services. Due to the higher costs to merchants, many businesses were forced to raise their prices, which again leaves the consumer paying more for the item or service.

"This office is committed to stopping any kind of activity which causes Tennesseans to pay higher prices than necessary," Cooper said. "By eliminating credit card companies' anticompetitive rules we will allow merchants more freedom to benefit their customers."

Published December 23, 2010


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