The judge overseeing the multi-billion dolar lawsuit brought by U.S. merchants against the card networks ruled the preliminary agreement appeared to meet the requirements necessary to move the suit forward. Being careful to acknowledge the increasingly contentious and vocal opposition to the settlement’s terms by various merchant groups, he nonetheless seems ready to finish the case one way or another.
Judge Gleeson’s order Wednesday denied requests by attorneys representing some of the merchants who oppose the deal to allow for the formation of a committee to represent objectors and to specify whether he will set procedures for absent class members who oppose the deal to make their concerns known.
Judge Gleeson said parties who oppose preliminary approval have until Oct. 31 to make their positions known in writing.
Stopping just short of issuing a preliminary approval order, Gleeson has agreed to hear oral arguments on Nov. 9th. For those payments industry historians, these arguments should provide the narrative backdrop to these highly charged and often emotional issues regarding cost and control of payments. However, it will be up to those opposing this settlement to make the legal case that will cause Judge Gleeson to change his mind and bring the parties back to the negotiating table.
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