By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and banks that issue their credit cards have agreed to a $7.25 billion settlement with U.S. retailers in a lawsuit over the fixing of credit a
The settlement, if approved by a judge, would resolve dozens of lawsuits filed by retailers in 2005. The card companies and banks would also allow stores to start charging customers extra for using certain credit cards in an effort to steer them toward cheaper forms of payment.nd debit card fees in what could be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history.

The settlement papers were filed on Friday in Brooklyn federal court.

Swipe fees – charges to cover processing credit and debit payments – are set by the card companies and deducted from the transaction by the banks that issue the cards, essentially passing on the cost to merchants, the lawsuits said.

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