Checks totaling more than $1 billion will be mailed this week to more than a half million merchants in the final payouts from Visa and Mastercard stemming from a 2003 lawsuit settlement, said the National Retail Federation. The retailers alleged that Visa and Mastercard violated federal anti-trust law by requiring merchants who accept their credit cards to also accept their signature debit cards.

Restricting fees that retailers have to pay banks for accepting credit cards could benefit consumers “if merchants reduced prices for goods and services,” congressional auditors concluded in a report today. But “identifying such savings would be difficult,” the report by the Government Accountability Office found.