The U.S. Supreme Court in its upcoming term will hear a fight over automated-teller-machine fees that pits the interests of independent cash machine operators and consumers on one hand against two major card networks and several megabanks on the other.
The matter, which joins several related suits, was one of eight cases the court agreed to accept on Tuesday.
At issue is the ability of Visa, MasterCard and affiliated banks to set out-of-network, or "foreign," ATM fees and the ability of consumers to challenge them under federal antitrust laws. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo were also defendants in the case.
A lower court dismissed the claims that Visa and MasterCard's rules prevent some cash machines from charging lower fees for transactions processed on other networks, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last August that the cases had merit and ordered them to be reheard.
Visa and MasterCard appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the allegations in the lawsuit are not specific enough for the case to go forward.
Independent ATM operators have claimed that Visa and MasterCard unlawfully control the fees that ATM operators are allowed to charge for transactions processed over third-party networks. The rules prevent ATM operators from offering lower prices if customers withdraw money from machines using transaction networks that are not affiliated with Visa and MasterCard, they have argued.
"By forbidding ATM operators from lowering access fees for lower-cost networks, the ATM restraints harm competition among ATMs, harm competition among networks, raise ATM access fees for consumers, and raise network services fees for ATM operators," the plaintiffs in the suits wrote in a filing with the Supreme Court in March.
Also on Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Wells Fargo and Bank of America in a lawsuit brought by the city of Miami to determine whether the city can seek redress for lost tax revenue from allegedly predatory mortgages.
Bloomberg News contributed to this article.