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    Visa in Settlement Talks with Retailers

    NEW YORK - Visa USA is in settlement talks with retailers over their dispute on debit card fees, a New York federal court judge said on Wednesday, the day opening statements in a long-awaited trial were due to start.

    NEW YORK - Visa USA is in settlement talks with retailers over their dispute on debit card fees, a New York federal court judge said on Wednesday, the day opening statements in a long-awaited trial were due to start.

    The trial has been adjourned until Friday.

    Former co-defendant MasterCard International reached a settlement with the retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., on Monday, under which the card issuer will pay retailers about $1 billon, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    The class-action suit first brought by retailers against the credit card giants in 1996 claims that Visa and MasterCard rules that require merchants to accept their signature-verified debit cards impose more costs that are eventually passed onto consumers and stifle competition from smaller rivals.

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