MSP Consulting has been tracking the long, drawn out class action lawsuit against Visa/Mastercard for our clients and partners. While there is NO ACTION required at this time, we want to provide you an update on the settlement case. MSP will continue to monitor and provide guidance as the story develops. In the meantime, you can read the updates below.
The Background: The lawsuit from 2005 relates to a class action claim centered around allegations regarding anti-trust violations brought by 12 million retailers against Visa, Mastercard and issuing and acquiring banks JP Morgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, and Citigroup. It is centered around Visa and Mastercard’s honor-all-cards rules which prevent merchants from suggesting that customers use forms of payment, such as cash or debit cards, that are less expensive to the retailer. The plaintiffs claim these rules are anti-competitive and illegal.
The Update: After years of litigation, a proposed settlement was submitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York last fall and granted preliminary approval on January 24, 2019. The settlement would grant between $5.56 to $6.26 billion to merchants who accepted Visa and Mastercard at any time since January 1, 2004. Currently the settlement is in a phase that allows for objections to the claims. There will then be a fairness hearing scheduled for November 2019. If the case reaches final approval, MSP will provide a summary to all our clients and outline next steps related to claim filings and fees reimbursement.