Thorntons Inc. is opposing the proposed settlement of longstanding antitrust litigation between retailers and the credit card industry. The proposed settlement, announced on July 13, does not make meaningful changes to the broken credit card swipe fee market and it broadly restricts merchants’ rights to challenge the card industry’s anticompetitive practices in the future, according to a news release from Thorntons.
The proposal offers no long-term relief for retailers or consumers from increasing swipe fees or from unfair credit card network rules and it will not keep the card networks from continuing to raise swipe fees, which already cost retailers and consumers around $50 billion per year.
Merchants have been fighting for years to bring real competition and transparency to the credit card market. The proposed settlement does not achieve those objectives.
Rather than accept this flawed settlement, Thorntons Inc. urges everyone in the merchant community, including those representing the class of merchants around the nation, to work toward a real solution to the problem caused by the card companies’ anticompetitive conduct.
Founded by Kentucky native James H. Thornton in 1971, Thorntons Inc. is one of the leading independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the U.S., currently operating throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. With more than $2.3 billion in revenue, Thorntons is the largest privately held corporation in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Thorntons operates 165 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in five states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee.
Thorntons distributes its petroleum products through its wholly owned Thornton Transportation Co. and operates a river bulk storage terminal in Louisville, Ky.