In a multibillion dollar battle between the vast majority of the nation’s retailers and two major credit card companies, a judge for the Eastern District of New York has certified a class action against Visa and MasterCard.

Judge John Gleeson, ruling in a private action brought under the Sherman Antitrust Act, certified a class of about 4 million retailers who claim that Visa and MasterCard conspired to charge “extortionate” interchange fees for off-line point-of-sale debit cards.

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