News & Events
ABA Advises Booksellers to Opt Out and Object To Swipe Fee Settlement
I am writing about an important opportunity for booksellers to join a growing effort to reject the recent class action settlement over rapidly rising Visa and Master Card swipe fees. By now, you should have received a 20-plus-page settlement notice that requires you to act by May 28.
The settlement notice offers you several options: to file a claim for monetary damages (equal to approximately two to three months’ worth of interchange fees); to opt out of the settlement; to object to the settlement; or to opt out and object to the settlement. The deadline to file your decision is May 28, 2013.
After very careful consideration—and consultation with other retail associations—ABA is recommending that booksellers opt out and object to the settlement. Attached you will find an informative Settlement Summary (172KB PDF) that was put together by the class plaintiffs opposing the settlement. It will provide the pros and cons of each option, along with forms that allow you to opt out and object.
In short, it is our belief that the settlement does not offer meaningful changes to the interchange or “swipe fee” rules that are the centerpiece of the case. And, importantly, the settlement denies all current and future merchants their right to bring future legal action related to interchange rules and rate setting, among other things, against Visa, MasterCard, and the banks.
Opting out and objecting is the most complete way to express your opposition to the settlement. Moreover, you will also get the best protection from any argument that you have accepted the settlement’s release terms and you will be entitled to sue for past damages.
A fairness hearing in the swipe fee case is scheduled for September 12. Clearly, if, at the hearing, the Judge is presented with the fact that an overwhelming number of businesses from the retail community have decided to opt out and object to the settlement that may go a long way in persuading the court that the settlement is unfair.
Let me stress that, ultimately, the decision as to whether to accept the settlement, to object to it, or to opt out and object to it is up to you. You must do what is best for your own business. But, importantly, if you take no action the court may interpret this silence as total acceptance and support of the terms of the settlement.
So please, do read the attached Settlement Summary (172KB PDF) carefully and then make your decision.
If you wish to opt out and object, you can do so electronically at http://merchantsobject.com/opt-out-object/.
If you have any questions about the settlement, please contact ABA Senior Public Policy Analyst David Grogan at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7562, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Oren Teicher, CEO
American Booksellers Association
Northern California Independent Booksellers Book of the Year Awards Announced
Read more on our Book Awards page.
Amazon’s Latest Scheme
Although Amazon will be forced to collect sales tax in California next year, the online behemoth is trying to maximize its unfair competitive advantage this holiday season with a new app designed to rob local businesses of sales.
The Price Check app allows users to go into stores, scan price information on items offered in those stores, check it against Amazon’s price, and purchase it from Amazon on the spot. Amazon introduced the new “spyware” by offering up to a $5 credit on any sales that came through the app — paying people to use local stores as showrooms for Amazon and then stealing sales away.
This is Amazon’s latest effort to expand its market at the expense of local businesses that nurture and support neighborhoods and communities throughout the state — the same businesses that collect sales taxes that fund our schools, police and firefighters, state and local services and more. We encourage shoppers to support what Amazon is trying to decimate — local independent businesses that are an integral part of your town or city.
Below are links to current events calendars of NCIBA member stores. Here you will find some of the most exciting, interesting, stimulating and thought provoking happenings in the region.
- Alexander Book Co. (San Francisco)
- Avid Reader (Davis and Sacramento)
- Book Passage (Corte Madera)
- Bay Books (San Ramon)
- Books Inc. (San Francisco / Alameda / Berkeley / Burlingame / Mountain View / Palo Alto)
- Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz)
- The Booksmith (San Francisco)
- Borderlands (San Francisco)
- Capitola Book Cafe (Capitola)
- Copperfield’s Books (Sebastopol, Petaluma, Montgomery Village, Napa, Healdsburg, Calistoga, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts)
- Depot Bookstore (Mill Valley)
- DIESEL, A Bookstore (Oakland / Malibu / Brentwood)
- East West Bookstore (Mountain View)
- Four-Eyed Frog Books (Gualala)
- Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books (Mendocino)
- Hicklebee’s (San Jose)
- Kepler’s (Menlo Park)
- Modern Times (San Francisco)
- Mrs. Dalloway’s (Berkeley)
- Orinda Books (Orinda)
- The Other Change of Hobbit (Berkeley)
- Pegasus Downtown (Berkeley)
- Point Reyes Books (Point Reyes)
- Rakestraw Books (Danville)
- Read Booksellers (Danville)
- Readers’ Books (Sonoma)
- Towne Center Books (Pleasanton)
Event listings can also be found on:
Also well worth checking out is the Sonoma County Book Festival. To find out who will be appearing at this annual September event, please visit the Festival website.