U.S. appeals court upholds Fed's debit card 'swipe fee' limits

WASHINGTON, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:45am EDT

WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court upheld the Federal Reserve's controversial rules for debit card "swipe fees" on Friday, reversing a lower court's decision to throw them out.

Businesses pay the fees to banks to cover the costs of offering debit cards. At the instruction of Congress, the Fed in 2011 limited the fees to 21 cents per transaction. Merchants sued, arguing that lawmakers meant for the cap to be lower. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)