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NBDA clarifies Lex Group letter

Published January 18, 2013
The top of a letter Lex Group sent to a retailer.

COSTA MESA, CA (BRAIN) — The National Bicycle Dealers Association wants its members to know that it is not endorsing a service being offered by the Lex Group.

Lex Group LLC, a company based in Burnsville, Minnesota, sent a letter to NBDA dealers last week offering to assist them in recovering a portion of a proposed $7 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit over swipe fees, filed on behalf of retailers against the Visa and Mastercard credit card companies and some banks.

Although the federal judge hearing the case has granted only a preliminary approval of the settlement, Lex Group is offering to add retailers' names to a list to receive a share. In exchange for this service, Lex Group would receive 25 percent of the retailer's share. 

The letter to retailers includes an "Associate NBDA" logo. But NBDA executive director Fred Clements said the group has not endorsed Lex Group or its offer. 

"The NBDA has no relationship with the Lex Group, other than the fact that the company joined the NBDA as an associate member in mid-December. The “Associate NBDA” logo included in the letter indicates their membership type as a non-dealer, an associate member," the NBDA said in a statement Clements released Friday.

“If bike retailers choose to work with the Lex Group, the NBDA has no problem with that,” said Clements. “However, there has been a lot of confusion created by the NBDA logo on the letter. We want to make it clear that the NBDA was unaware of the Lex Group’s activities until we started hearing from dealers, and that the NBDA has neither reviewed nor taken a position on the Lex Group’s offer.”

The National Retail Federation and other retailer trade groups have opposed the proposed settlement, calling its reforms one-sided. A final approval is not expected for several months.

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