16-years long class-action trial over interchange fees ends with victory for Mastercard

21 July 2017

MastercardA 16-years long class action suit against Mastercard over anti-competitiveness of its interchange fees ended this week as a Tribunal Court brought the ruling to block this case seeking £14 billion to be recovered by the card network to 45 million customers in the United Kingdom. The Tribunal explained its judgment stressing that the claims in the proceeding were not proper according to the applicable collective action regulations.

The official statement of Mastercard notes that the company is content with the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision to reject further disputes over the brought collective action. The suit was launched by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a US-based law firm, as long ago as in 2007 after Mastercard failed to contest the ruling made by the European Commission declaring its fees as anti-competitive.

According to the new judgment delivered by the Competition Appeal Tribunal, it supports the latest decision made by a High Court this January underlining that the use of Mastercard’s interchange fees was lawful and did not contradict competition regulations.

However, this proceeding and the outcome with the Tribunal are not over yet, as Walter Merricks, a London-based lawyer and representative for the class action suit, expressed his surprise and disappointment over this decision considering further appeals.

He adds that the new regulation aimed to protect consumers backfired them and protected the company exercising anti-competitive practices. The positive outcome for consumers may have allowed 46 million of card holders to recover damages caused by illegal acts of Mastercard.

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