A U.S. federal judge delayed final judgment on a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard related to interchange fees. Although the judge had given preliminary approval to final settlement terms, continued objections by many merchants delayed the decision likely for several months.

Large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target continue to fight the settlement. Litigation release provisions are a continuing obstacle to a settlement. The provisions would bar any organization that accepts settlement terms from later suing Visa or MasterCard over interchange and other payment card rules that merchants must follow.

Another issue is allowing merchants to apply surcharges to transactions to cover payment-card costs and making them visible on receipts. While surcharging is an option, 10 states prohibit surcharges, thus disallowing relief for merchants in those states.

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