American Express Co. said it's appealing a federal judge's order approving Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.'s $5.7 billion settlement that ended years of litigation with U.S. merchants over allegations that credit-card swipe fees are improperly fixed.

American Express, in a filing Jan. 8 in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., joined retailers and trade associations including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Inc., 7-Eleven Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. The settlement potentially applies to claims of competitors and not just merchants, American Express said.

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