NEW YORK — For the second time in the same week, a class-action lawsuit by retailers over the fees paid in debit card transactions was delayed moments before the trial was to begin because of settlement talks.

Visa USA, the sole remaining defendant, got another delay until Friday to give it more time to discuss a possible settlement with Wal-Mart and five million other retailers in the lawsuit. The original trial date was Monday.

As reported, settlement talks were ongoing over the weekend, with MasterCard International Inc. blinking first. Brooklyn Federal Court Judge John Gleeson announced on Monday to a packed courtroom that MasterCard had settled with the retailers, leaving Visa as the sole defendant in a case where plaintiffs were seeking billions in damages.

Although the judge ordered the parties not to make public statements because he was in the middle of jury selection, reports put MasterCard’s price tag at $1 billion for the privilege of extricating itself from the uncertainties of trial. MasterCard’s share of the credit and charge card market is substantially lower than that of Visa.

The trial was postponed until Wednesday at Visa’s request following its co-defendant’s settlement news. Legal sources said that they now expect to hear about a Visa settlement when everyone gathers in Gleeson’s courtroom on Friday.

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