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Wal-Mart sues Visa for $5B over swipe fees

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc filed a $5 billion lawsuit against Visa earlier this week, saying the credit card company passed along unreasonable fees when shoppers used credit or debit cards at its stores, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, the world's largest retailer alleged that Visa's swipe fees went against antitrust regulations, and in turn churned up more than $350 billion for issuers over the course of nine years, the report said.

Credit card companies charge retailers a fee whenever a customer pays with plastic. These fees are determined by the card networks.

"The anticompetitive conduct of Visa and the banks forced Wal-Mart to raise retail prices paid by its customers and/or reduce retail services provided to its customers as a means of offsetting some of the artificially inflated Interchange Fees," the company said in the Journal report.

"As a result, Wal-Mart's retail sales were below what they would have been otherwise."

Visa declined to comment.

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