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Friday, September 20, 2013

Court Grants Expedited Appeal of Interchange Ruling

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ordered an expedited appeal of a federal judge’s ruling overturning the Federal Reserve’s debit interchange fee cap.

Both parties requested the faster appeal. The plaintiffs, a group of merchants and trade groups who sued the Fed, argued that the fee cap was set too high and that they could face “irreparable injury” the longer the current rule remains in place.

The Fed, which is appealing the district court decision, argued that to vacate the rule without an expedited appeal would remove any cap on debit interchange fees. It also said that a speedier appeal would help allay regulatory uncertainty. Filings in support of the Fed’s appeal, including friend of the court briefs, are due Oct. 21.

A federal judge ruled in July that the Fed’s rule violated congressional intent in the Dodd-Frank Act by setting the interchange fee cap too high and failing to allow merchants to choose multiple unaffiliated PIN and signature networks for each card transaction they process.

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