NEW YORK - While Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International were busy fighting a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit on Thursday, the judge in another antitrust case filed against the card giants postponed a summary judgment hearing scheduled for Aug. 4 as well as the Nov. 27 trial date.
Judge John Gleeson did not establish a new trial date for the case, known as the Wal-Mart suit. That case, pending in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the largest retailers in the United States, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and The Limited Inc. The retailers are challenging Visa's and MasterCard's "honor all cards" rules, which require merchants who take credit cards to also take debit cards.
In June Visa and MasterCard won the right to appeal Judge Gleeson's decision to certify the case as a class action. The judge was apparently concerned that the Court of Appeals would not have rendered a decision on the merchants' class-action status before he heard the summary judgment arguments in August.