UPDATE 3-U.S. judge blocks New York credit card surcharge law
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Five retailers including a hair salon, an ice cream store and a martial arts studio had challenged the constitutionality of the law, which was enacted after the U.S. Congress in 1984 allowed a federal law prohibiting surcharges to lapse. The decision could call into question the status of similar laws in nine U.S. states. Those states include the four most populous – California, Florida, New York and Texas – as well as Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oklahoma. “This is a big victory, not just for consumers and merchants in New York but across the country,” Deepak Gupta, a partner at Gupta Beck in Washington, D.C. representing the plaintiffs, said in an interview. “The card industry wants to perpetuate the myth that using a credit card is free, or priceless. But the cost is baked into the price of all the goods and services we buy.” IMPACT ON OTHER LAWS Authorities including New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes argued that the state law protected shoppers by enabling them to rely on advertised prices, rather than be surprised at checkout with surcharges. “We are reviewing the decision and considering our next step,” Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, said. The offices of Vance and Hynes had no immediate comment.