Swipe Fee E-Mail Re: Notice to Rejoin Class Settlement

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Dear Booksellers:

Your store may have received a notice from the Visa/MasterCard interchange class settlement administrator offering you the opportunity to opt back into the class action settlement by submitting a form by December 19, 2014. ABA, along with other trade groups, earlier advised our members to consider opting out of the monetary portion of the Visa/MasterCard interchange class settlement, in part to send a message to the court that small businesses were opposed to what was viewed as a paltry settlement and an overly broad release. 

To our disappointment, the court considering the case has now decided to approve the settlement over the objections of many businesses, notwithstanding the fact that thousands of merchants, accounting for more than 25 percent of the transaction volume, opted out of the monetary class and filed objections.   

Moreover, because the district court has already ruled on the fairness of the settlement and concluded that the significant number of merchants who opted out does not bear on the merits of the settlement, whether you pursue your opt-out claim or opt back in will, regrettably, not have any bearing on the ultimate fate of the settlement. While the decision currently is on appeal, we do not expect the numbers of opt-out merchants to impact the settlement.

As you consider whether to opt back in or not, you basically have two choices:

1.     You can continue to opt out and hope the higher court reverses the decision (if you did opt out previously, you don't have to do anything), or

2.      You can return the Notice to Rejoin the Settlement form and now elect to opt in to the settlement and receive some distribution, if the decision is upheld on appeal. (Although the exact payout is not known, it is anticipated that the amount paid will be based on one-tenth of one percent of your Visa and MasterCard credit card transaction volume during an eight-month period from July 29, 2013, through March 29, 2014.)

As it's impossible to predict what the appeals court will do, ABA understands that some stores that considered our comments and opted out may very well feel that they now need to protect their interests and opt in to assure they receive their share of the settlement. We understand and respect that decision. For those who choose to continue to opt out, ABA will commit to closely monitor the case and will report any and all developments in Bookselling This Week.

Please note that additional information about the settlement is available on the official case website, www.paymentcardsettlement.com. (Unfortunately, the settlement website is out-of-date and does not reflect any of the current information as explained in the notice you have received. And while it is a good source to learn about the case, the information in the above e-mail from ABA is current. The information on the website is not.)

If you have any questions or wish to see an example of the Notice to Rejoin the Class Settlement form, please contact David Grogan, ABA senior public policy analyst, at [email protected].




About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


PRESS INQUIRIES: [email protected]

INDIECOMMERCE: [email protected]

ALL OTHER INQUIRIES: [email protected]



Copyright 2024 American Booksellers Association. BookWeb is a registered trademark of ABA.
Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, Accessibility Statement