Visa Mastercard

Visa and Mastercard’s $5.6 billion antitrust class-action settlement with over 12 million retailers has been upheld by a federal appeals court. The settlement resolves accusations that Visa and Mastercard improperly fixed credit and debit card fees, overcharging retailers on interchange fees, or swipe fees, when customers used credit or debit cards, and barred retailers from directing customers toward cheaper means of payment. The settlement also prevents settling retailers from making further claims from within the 15-year class period and for five more years after the settlement became final. While the settlement was upheld, a group of gas station operators for oil companies such as Chevron and Shell objected to the settlement, claiming to have been injured after accepting Visa and Mastercard for gas sales. However, Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs said that their dispute should not delay payouts to other class members. Although the outcome was deemed “remarkable” by Jacobs, who cited the 630,000 hours of work billed by retailers’ lawyers, or about 72 calendar years, the settlement was upheld. The case is In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-339.

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