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FMI urges appellate court to uphold debit reform ruling

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Food Marketing Institute, a plaintiff in the litigation against the Federal Reserve’s interpretation of debit reforms legislated by Congress under the Durbin Amendment, on Friday urged the Appeals Court to agree with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s July 31 decision. 

Judge Leon ruled that the U.S. Federal Reserve had “clearly disregarded” Congress’ intent “by inappropriately inflating all debit card transaction fees by billions of dollars.”

FMI is pleased to be a named plaintiff in such an important case for the food retail industry," stated FMI SVP Government and public affairs Jennifer Hatcher. “We urge the three-judge panel to concur with Judge Leon’s decision and with what merchants witness every day: the Federal Reserve did not follow the law when crafting a rule that continues to impose a fee that is neither reasonable nor proportional on merchants.”              

To read the collective argument for why retailers are urging the Appeals Court to make banks follow the law on debit-card transactions, visit the Merchants Payments Coalition website: UnfairCreditCardFees.com.

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FTC grants early termination of waiting period for Kroger, Harris Teeter deal

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger and Harris Teeter Supermarkets on Friday announced that the Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the pending merger transaction between the two companies.

The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions. Both companies expect the transaction to be completed before the end of January.

On July 9, 2013, Kroger and Harris Teeter announced a definitive merger agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. On Oct. 3, 2013, Harris Teeter shareholders approved of the merger agreement. At the closing of the merger, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock they own.

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Kroger declares quarterly dividend

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI — Kroger’s board of directors on Friday declared a quarterly dividend of 16.5 cents per share to be paid on March 1, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 15.

In September, the company’s board of directors raised the quarterly dividend by approximately 10%, to 16.5 cents per share. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006. 

The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.

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