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Merchants Lose Debit Card Interchange Fee Appeal

FedEarlier today a US appeals court in Washington, DC upheld the Federal Reserve's Regulation II interchange fee and network routing rules. The appeals court overturned an earlier district court decision handed down last July that struck down Regulation II.

In the Court's opinion on the case, Circuit Judge Tatel expressed a bit of frustration:

Before addressing the parties’ arguments, we think it worth emphasizing that Congress put the Board, the district court, and us in a real bind. Perhaps unsurprising given that the Durbin Amendment was crafted in conference committee at the eleventh hour, its language is confusing and its structure convoluted. But because neither agencies nor courts have authority to disregard the demands of even poorly drafted legislation, we must do our best to discern Congress’s intent and to determine whether the Board’s regulations are faithful to it.

The case is NACS v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 13-5270.

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