Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 22, 2011, 7:21 p.m. EST by AmericanRedWhiteBlue
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Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were sued for allegedly colluding to fix the fees paid by consumers for access to automated teller machines.
The antitrust suit, brought in federal court in Washington by an ATM user and made public today, also names Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. (MA), the world’s biggest payment networks, as defendants. It’s the third lawsuit filed in Washington in the past week alleging price-fixing of ATM fees and surcharges.
“The violation in this case is a horizontal agreement among every bank that is a member of the Visa and/or MasterCard networks that charges ATM access fees on foreign ATM transactions,” the complaint alleges.
Two earlier lawsuits, one filed yesterday and the other on Oct. 12, accuse Visa and MasterCard of antitrust violations for restricting independent ATM operators from charging varying, lower prices for customers using alternative networks such as STAR, Shazam Inc. or TransFund.
“By collusively agreeing to set a price floor for all ATM access fees at every ATM terminal throughout the country, the bank defendants and the bank co-conspirators shelter themselves from natural and beneficial price competition that otherwise would exist in the market,” the lawsuit claims.