In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
330 F.R.D. 11 (2019)
Over 12 million merchants who accepted Visa and Mastercard credit cards (merchants) (plaintiffs) sued Visa and Mastercard (defendants) in a multidistrict, class-action, antitrust litigation alleging that Visa and Mastercard colluded to charge artificially high credit card fees. The litigation went on for over a decade and involved hundreds of court proceedings and millions of pages of discovery. The Second Circuit rejected the initial class-action settlement proposal because it grouped the merchants seeking damages and the merchants seeking injunctive relief into the same settlement. The merchants subsequently split into two classes: a damages group and an injunction group. On remand, the merchants seeking damages submitted a new class-action settlement proposal for preliminary approval following notice to class members. The proposed settlement would give all class members pro-rata shares of up to $6.26 billion. $6.26 billion was a fraction of the $100 billion in credit card fees charged to merchants in the relevant time period but was in line with settlements in similar class actions. The pro-rata shares would be calculated by class counsel and subject to challenge by class members prior to finalization. The class settlement notice also included detailed information regarding the release of liability included in the settlement.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brodie, J.)
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