WASHINGTON, DC — September 15, 2005 — Retailers should not need to pay for help from third parties to collect their share of the settlement funds from the landmark Visa-MasterCard antitrust litigation finalized in June 2005, said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), in a letter to association members this week.

As the settlement forms are now being distributed, firms are contacting many FMI members and offering to help them complete the paperwork for a fee. “We would like retailers to know that these firms have no official role in the settlement and are using this process for their own financial gain,” Hammonds said.

The forms are designed to be user-friendly. Retailers can receive guidance at no charge from the Claims Administrator the Garden City Group, the law firm Constantine Cannon, which represented the plaintiffs, or FMI.

Since FMI was a lead plaintiff in this class action lawsuit, all members may be eligible to collect a share of the settlement. FMI members and other merchants that participated in the case are eligible if they accepted Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards at any time between October 1992 and June 2003. For more information, visit www.fmi.org.