Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has granted preliminary approval in the U.S. merchant litigation. Reuters has a nice write up of the hearing:
During a packed hearing on Friday, lawyers for dozens of objectors -- including Target Corp and Home Depot Inc -- told the judge that the settlement offered meaningless relief for merchants saddled with an estimated $30 billion in annual swipe fees. They also argued that releases shielding Visa and Mastercard from new litigation over the same claims would violate their legal rights and give the two companies protection from for any future anti-competitive behavior.
The National Retail Federation said that is will continue to oppose the settlement and look at other legal options.
In other legal news, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to AmEx's bid to force merchants to arbitrate antitrust claims over it fees.