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Wal-Mart Opposes Planned Settlement With Credit-Card Giants

By Tess Stynes Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) became the latest major retailer to speak out against a planned multi-billion interchange-fee settlement between Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) and companies that accept electronic payments. The roughly $7 billion settlement stems from long running litigation taking aim at the fees on each card swipe as well as rules Visa and MasterCard require merchants to abide by to accept their cards. On Tuesday, the world's biggest retailer said the proposed deal "would not structurally change the broken market or prohibit credit-card networks from continually increasing hidden swipe fees, which already cost consumers tens of billions of dollars each year." Wal-Mart's comments mirror remarks last week from Target Corp. (TGT), the second largest retailer by sales in the U.S. behind Wal-Mart. Visa and MasterCard credit cards accounted for 68% of credit-card spending at U.S. merchants in 2011, according to the Nilson Report, a payments-industry newsletter. Write to Tess Stynes at Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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