The district court granted final approval to a settlement of $5.54 billion in a class action lawsuit, called In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720 (MKB) (JO). In January 2020, certain merchants appealed the court’s order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The parties have filed written arguments with the appellate court and are awaiting a date for oral arguments. At this time, it is unknown when the appeals will be decided.
The lawsuit is about claims that merchants paid excessive fees to accept Visa and Mastercard cards because Visa and Mastercard, individually, and together with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws.
The settlement creates the following Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class: All persons, businesses, and other entities that have accepted any Visa-Branded Cards and/or Mastercard-Branded Cards in the United States at any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019, except that the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class shall not include (a) the Dismissed Plaintiffs, (b) the United States government, (c) the named Defendants in this Action or their directors, officers, or members of their families, or (d) financial institutions that have issued Visa-Branded Cards or Mastercard-Branded Cards or acquired Visa-Branded Card transactions or Mastercard- Branded Card transactions at any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019. The Dismissed Plaintiffs are plaintiffs that previously settled and dismissed their own lawsuit against a Defendant, and entities related to those plaintiffs. If you are uncertain about whether you may be a Dismissed Plaintiff, you should call 1-800-625-6440 or view the list of Dismissed Plaintiffs for more information.
The Notice has important information for merchants that accepted Visa and Mastercard at any time since January 1, 2004. It explains the settlement in a class action lawsuit. It also explains your rights and options in this case. The court also issued a “Notice of Exclusion” to the Dismissed Plaintiffs and an additional notice to those merchants explaining their right to file claims when claim forms become available.
For the full terms of the Settlement, you should look at the Superseding and Amended Definitive Class Settlement Agreement of the Rule 23(b)(3) Class Plaintiffs and the Defendants and its Appendices (the “Class Settlement Agreement”), available here or by calling 1-800-625-6440. In the event of any conflict between the terms of the Notice or this website and the Class Settlement Agreement, the terms of the Class Settlement Agreement shall control.
Please check this website for any updates relating to the settlement or the settlement approval process.