Visa & Mastercard Swipe Fee Settlement

September 18, 2018 – The (B)(3) class action plaintiffs in the antitrust interchange litigation against Visa and Mastercard reached a settlement agreement yesterday. The settlement only covers monetary damages without any rules changes, and is valued at $6.2 billion, an amount is similar to the previous failed settlement. However, unlike the prior settlement agreement, it does not ban future swipe fee lawsuits and it affords aggrieved retailers the ability to opt out of the settlement. If preliminary approval is approved by the court, there will be notice and an opportunity to object or opt out of the settlement for a period of 180 days after the settlement agreement is approved. At this time, retailers are not required to do anything, but we will continue to inform you of your rights and opportunities if the settlement is approved by the court.

Patrick Coughlin, one of the lawyers who brought the case, said the new settlement is better than the rejected 2012 decision because larger merchants can now drop out without negating the deal for the smaller retailers. It also will bring more money for those smaller retailers, even though the amount paid by Visa, MasterCard and the banks will be partly reduced by the major retailers pulling out.

“At a minimum, we got them an additional $200 million,” he said.

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