Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. won approval for a $5.7 billion settlement that ended years of litigation with U.S. merchants over allegations that credit-card swipe fees are improperly fixed. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson said that he was satisfied with the settlement, which was estimated to be the largest-ever U.S. antitrust accord.


Dozens of large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp., as well as major airlines, health insurers and other consumer businesses criticized the deal. Some said the amount should have been higher and that a legal release preventing future lawsuits was written too broadly. Shortly after Gleeson issued his order, retailers and trade associations that opposed the deal including Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, 7-Eleven Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. filed notices that they will appeal the decision.

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