From J. Craig Shearman, Washington Retail Insight, May 31, 2013:

“Attorneys general from across the nation joined retailers this week in formally opposing a proposed settlement of a federal antitrust lawsuit over credit card swipe fees charged by Visa and MasterCard.

“The attorneys said the settlement’s ban on future lawsuits over swipe fees and credit card rules would violate their authority to sue over actions that harm their states’ citizens.

“ ‘As drafted, the settlement agreement opens the door for defendants to assert settlement releases against attorneys general or other law enforcement agencies in future law enforcement actions related to the payment card industry,’ a brief filed on Tuesday said.

“The brief was filed by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia and every state except New Jersey and Oregon signed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in support of the document.

“The action came the same day that NRF filed its own brief opposing the settlement. Tuesday was the deadline for retailers opposed to the deal to opt out of the settlement.

“In addition, a group of 17 large retailers including Macy’s, Target and J.C. Penney last week went beyond opposing the current settlement and filed a new lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over the same swipe fees.”