CINNCINATI, Ohio—The Kroger Co. has dropped its federal lawsuit against Visa after the grocer and the credit card company came to a settlement agreement, Progressive Grocer reports. Details of the settlement were not released.
In 2016, Kroger filed the suit alleging that Visa threatened to increase fees and cut off the supermarket operator from accepting its debit cards because of a dispute about the use of personal identification numbers (PINs) to verify debit-card transactions. At that time, Kroger said it had already been fined $7 million by Visa over the dispute, although Visa denied the allegations.
Now the lawsuit has been settled, but a separate disagreement that resulted in two Kroger banners refusing to accept Visa credit cards is still unresolved.
Smith's Food & Drug Stores and Foods Co., two Kroger brands, stopped accepting Visa because of the excessive interchange and network fees that Visa and its issuing banks charge retailers. Kroger claims those fees were driving up food prices for shoppers. Consumers may still use credit cards from Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various names and employs nearly half a million associates.