The attorneys general of California, Arizona, Ohio, and six other states—along with big-box retailers and merchant groups—are objecting to a $7.25 billion settlement over interchange fees charged when customers use certain Visa or MasterCard credit cards. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia also signed a brief in support of the objections, which were filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

Trade groups and retailers argue that Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and several other large banking institutions conspired to set fees at high levels and have prevented them from minimizing costs. The states argue that the settlement effectively releases the defendants from claims the states could bring in the future against them for actions that might hurt consumers.

Stephen J. Kastenberg, a Ballard Spahr litigator who focuses on antitrust, said that the states' objection might cause the court to order revisions to the settlement before it gives final approval on it, although the defendants could fight such changes.

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