The Honorable Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted preliminary approval of the landmark settlement agreement between retailers, payment networks and nine major card issuers, over merchant interchange fees. The settlement was originally announced on July 13th after several years of litigation. The preliminary approval of this historic settlement will almost immediately give retailers the many benefits they demanded. Sixty days from November 9, 2012, the card networks will implement rule changes. Merchants will now have the ability to add checkout fees (a retailer surcharge) at the register and form buying groups.