Achieved Extraordinary $5.6 Billion Settlement in Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Litigation
Largest Settlement of a Private Antitrust Action in the 130-Year History of the Sherman Act
March 15, 2023
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Litigation, No. 05-md-1720 (E.D.N.Y.)
In the largest settlement of a private antitrust action in the 130-year history of the Sherman Act, on March 15, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously upheld the district court’s order giving final approval of a $5.6 billion settlement on behalf of U.S. merchants in the In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation. The case alleges that Visa, Mastercard, and their member banks violated antitrust laws and charged merchants who accept credit and debit cards supracompetitive fees on card transactions.
Robins Kaplan serves as co-lead counsel in this case on behalf of a class of over 10 million U.S. merchants who accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards and debit cards for the purchase of goods and services. On their behalf, the firm filed the first case in this consolidated action over 18 years ago, pursuing an innovative theory that Visa’s and Mastercard’s interchange fee structure and rules are anticompetitive. Defendants include Visa and Mastercard, as well as major card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Capital One.
The team first reached a historic settlement in 2012, which was reversed on appeal. The parties reached a new negotiated $5.6 billion settlement in 2018, which was granted final approval on December 16, 2019.
An appeal of the $5.6 billion negotiated settlement was then heard by the Second Circuit on March 16, 2022. On March 15, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously upheld the District Court’s order giving final approval of the $5.6 billion settlement.
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