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News Now

Washington
Merchants Rehash Arguments In Interchange Brief
WASHINGTON (11/21/13)--Merchants in a Wednesday brief argued that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit should affirm an earlier court decision that struck down the Federal Reserve's debit card interchange fee cap and network non-exclusivity regulations.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in July ruled in favor of a merchant request to strike down the Fed's price caps on debit card interchange fees. He said that the Fed did not follow narrow congressional intent when it implemented the cap. The Fed has appealed that decision.

The merchants in their Wednesday brief argued:
  • The Fed's interpretation of the interchange fee standard outlined in the Durbin Amendment is incorrect, and must be invalidated;
  • The Fed's implementation of the interchange fee statute's non-exclusivity requirement is also incorrect, and must be altered; and
  • The interchange fee standard violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
The merchants brief also took issue with the Fed's estimates of the cost of providing debit cards to users.

Amicus briefs were also filed on behalf of Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as several other retailers.

The Fed has a Dec. 4 deadline to respond.

Circuit Judges David Tatel, Harry Edwards, and Stephen Williams will hear oral arguments from the Fed and merchants at 9:30 a.m. (ET) on Jan. 17.


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