The lawsuits allege that these restrictions on retailers unreasonably restrain competition among credit card companies, in violation of federal antitrust laws. Specifically, the lawsuits allege that without these restrictions, retailers would be free to express their preference for credit cards that charge lower fees or for other methods of payments. Retailers could do this, for example, by offering discounts on purchases to consumers who use credit cards with lower fees or other methods of payments, such as cash. Allowing retailers to do this would foster competition among credit card companies by encouraging them to lower fees.
Attorney General Madigan Joins Antitrust Lawsuit Alleging Credit Card Retailer Rules Prevent Competition