WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit accusing MasterCard, Visa and three major banks of illegally fixing ATM prices at the expense of consumers.

Customers use ATMs at a branch office of Bank of America in New York (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday that a group of consumers and independent ATM operators could pursue antitrust claims against the companies.

A federal district judge had thrown out the lawsuit in 2013 after finding the plaintiffs failed to show any conspiracy to overcharge consumers.

But the appeals court said challengers could argue that the payment processors coordinated with Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. to adopt anticompetitive fees.

The lawsuit claims the companies impose contract terms preventing independent ATM operators from charging less when consumers use debit cards that can tap cheaper processing networks.

 

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)