Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard are close to a settlement with merchants over card-swipe fees: Report

Key Points
  • Visa, Mastercard and other issuers of debit cards would have to pay out $6.5 billion, according to a report.
  • It is not clear how the settlement payment would be split up among the card networks and the issuing banks.
David Shopper | Getty Images

Visa and Mastercard are close to settling a long-running antitrust lawsuit with merchants over the fees they pay while they accept card payments, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Under the settlement, Visa, Mastercard, and a number of banks that issue debit and credit cards, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America, would pay the merchants around $6.5 billion, the report said.

MasterCard said in a regulatory filing it would boost its reserve by about $210 million in the second quarter to account for claims related to a lawsuit with merchants.

However, it was not clear if the estimated increase in reserve was related to the settlement that the Journal reported.

On Tuesday, Visa said in filing it allocated $600 million into a litigation account of the bank, but did not say if the amount is related to the settlement with the merchants.

Mastercard and JPMorgan were not immediately available to comment on the settlement. Citigroup and Bank of America declined to comment.