Merchants in Florida, Texas and California suie over swipe-fee surcharge bans

 

Merchants in Florida and two other states are challenging laws that prevent them from imposing extra charges for credit-card purchases, months after settling with the card companies over transaction fees.

The merchants said they filed lawsuits in Florida, Texas and California as part of a campaign to eliminate the laws that they claim were enacted at the behest of credit card companies in the 1980s.

Credit-card purchases cost retailers more to process than other forms of payment. The laws generally allow merchants to charge lower prices for cash transactions, which they can describe as a “discount,” while forbidding them from calling higher prices for credit-card payments a “surcharge” said Deepak Gupta, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer for the merchants. He says the laws are too vague and impinge on free speech rights.

-Bloomberg News and Miami Herald Reporter Ina Paiva Cordle

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