This story seems to be breaking out. Here’s how the Street.com puts it:
Private antitrust litigation pitting some five million retailers against Visa(V), MasterCard(MA), and 13 large banks, including Bank of America(BAC) and Citigroup(C) has slipped under the radar of many analysts and investors who follow those companies, but the case may deliver a multi-billion dollar shock to bank bulls in the coming months.
Aside from Bank of America and Citigroup, the other banks that appear to have the most at stake as a result of the litigation in the U.S. Eastern District of New York are US Bancorp (USB)and JPMorgan Chase(JPM). All four face billions in potential losses.
So why are these big name retailers suing the big banks. It’s this chart from TheStreet.com’s article that appears to be the smoking gun. Credit card interchange fees are the highest by a large margin.
Clearly those charges that go into the bank and credit card companies’ coffers are either absorbed by retailers or passed on to consumers.
This is a big case. Watch for how it gets resolved.
Also see: Will US courts take aim at credit-card interchange? by Felix Salmon