By Brent Kendall

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would no longer consider an appeal by Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and several banks that sought to challenge lawsuits alleging they conspired to set anticompetitive ATM fees.

In a brief written order, the court said it was removing the case from its docket because the companies were now focusing on issues in their main case briefs that weren't part of their earlier petition that persuaded the court to take the case.

The case had been scheduled for oral arguments in December.

Visa and Mastercard didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The ATM litigation focused on rules for access fees that prevent independent ATM operators from setting lower charges for banking transactions processed on networks other than Visa and MasterCard.

The plaintiffs in the case were consumers and operators of independent ATMs, such as those found in bars and convenience stories. They claimed banks including Bank of America Corp. , J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to the fee rules when Visa and MasterCard were owned as joint ventures by the banks.

Even after the bank card associations went public in 2008 and 2006, the substance of the ATM rules remained the same, challengers alleged.

A Washington, D.C., appeals court revived the lawsuits last year after a trial judge previously ruled the allegations weren't strong enough to proceed.

By dropping its review of the case, the Supreme Court let that appeals court ruling stand.

Write to Brent Kendall at brent.kendall@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2016 19:08 ET (00:08 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.