|MasterCard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Retailers such as and have accused Visa and MasterCard of fixing the fees charged to merchants each time their customers used credit or debit cards. They also alleged the two companies prevented merchants from steering customers to cheaper forms of payment.
of said on Friday the lawsuits could proceed, according to Jeffrey Shinder, an attorney for some of the retailers.
Shinder declined further comment.
In December, approved an estimated $5.7 billion settlement between the two credit card companies and a nationwide class of merchants over similar allegations.
But thousands of retailers, including some of the biggest in the United States such as , opted out of the settlement, complaining it was not adequate.
Those companies argued the settlement offered meaningless reforms that would not help them control the costs of accepting credit cards. Many of those retailers who objected to the settlement filed their own lawsuits.
A spokesman for MasterCard said in a statement that Gleeson's ruling on Friday was at earliest stage of the case.
"We look forward to putting this matter behind us and continuing to work productively with the merchant community," he said.