Published: Nov 09, 2012 3:39 PM EST
Updated: Nov 10, 2012 7:31 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) - Parties in the case say a federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $7.2 billion settlement between major credit card companies and retailers over alleged fee-fixing.

The parties say Judge John Gleeson of Brooklyn federal court gave the order Friday.

Visa, MasterCard and other card companies agreed in July to settle a lawsuit brought by retailers that claimed card issuers conspired to fix the fees they charge stores for accepting credit cards.

Visa says the settlement is a "fair and reasonable compromise." A group representing retailers says it disagrees with the ruling and is exploring its legal options.