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Walmart sues Visa for $5 billion for using ‘price-fixing schemes’ against merchants

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The world’s largest retailer Walmart has sued credit card giant Visa for more than $5 billion for conspiring with banks to fix fees that merchants pay for accepting Visa card payments.

In the suit filed this week in Arkansas, where Walmart is based, the retailer said Visa worked with some of the largest U.S. banks “to illegally fix the interchange fees and inflate the network fees that Walmart and other merchants pay on Visa charge card transactions.”

It said that Visa and the banks as well worked together to set rules that prevent retailers from protecting themselves against such fees.

Walmart said the banks agreed with Visa to establish one inflexible interchange rate regime, and suggested this prevents it from any ability to negotiate what would be a market rate.

“Visa has used its price-fixing schemes to establish, maintain and enhance its long-held market power,” said Walmart in the suit.

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The suit also accused Visa of issuing its cards with “inherently insecure” magnetic stripe technology, making it easy for thefts and fraud, and yet using its market power to shift the costs of fraud losses to merchants.

Walmart said that even though it is the country’s largest merchant, it could not just refuse to accept Visa cards, because that “would result in an unacceptable decrease in sales.”

Walmart said it had suffered “enormous damages” in excess of $5 billion between 2004 and 2012, the period covered in the suit.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Gold Star father blasts Trump for failure to govern while refusing to ‘defend and protect’ America

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Gold Star father Khizr Khan eviscerated President Donald Trump for his latest racist attack on congresswomen of color.

"To Donald Trump I say, sir, have you no sense of decency with this racism and division for political purposes?" Khan told anchor Anderson Cooper. "Donald Trump has nothing to offer. Therefore, he is going to create division and hate for political expedience. I am saddened but not surprised because, as you explained, he is a demagogue and will continue to use hate and division for his political expediency purpose."

"This is a man without any shame," agreed Cooper. "He doesn't have a health care policy. He doesn't have — he's not able to make progress on immigration in any sort of policy that actually solves the problem long term. And so he does these things and it is largely in times to distract, but it's not just distracting people, it's distracting people in the worst possible, bigoted, divisive way. It's distracting us by turning us against each other and viewing each other as other."

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Trump ‘pulled the ultimate BBQ Becky’: Joy Reid destroys the racist push to get critics to ‘self-deport’

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MSNBC anchor Joy Reid declared that Donald Trump "pulled the ultimate BBQ Becky" with his racist attack on young women of color in Congress.

In 2008, a woman became known as "BBQ Becky" after calling the police on a black family having a barbecue in an Oakland park. The 911 dispatcher who received the call wondered about BBQ Becky's mental health the ordeal was so surreal.

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Trump is a racist — but he is also ‘deeply mentally ill’: Trump biographer

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On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," anchor Chris Matthews discussed President Donald Trump's racist outbursts against congresswomen of color with Pulitzer Prize-winning tax journalist and Trump biographer David Cay Johnston.

Johnston agreed that Trump has been deeply racist throughout his career — but added that another major problem is Trump's cognitive faculties are severely impaired.

"Is he the kind of guy, in a back room with other right-wing business guys, who would make slurs about people of color?" said Johnston. "Is he that kind of guy?"

"That's not Donald's style. Donald's actions are what matter here," said Johnston. "He once removed a black blackjack dealer because he thought it would curry favor with his biggest gambler, [alleged mobster] Bob Libutti. He's found to have discriminated in his casino business against blacks, Asians, women, Puerto Ricans. He has a long history of actions. We should be paying attention to his actions, and they're flat-out racist."

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