The $7+ Billion Dollar Settlement is Final!
On December 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a Class Settlement among merchants, Visa, MasterCard and other Defendants in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that merchants paid excessive fees for accepting Visa and MasterCard because of an alleged conspiracy among the Defendants.
The monetary portion of the Class Settlement consists of two funds. The first is a cash fund in the amount of $6.05 billion, reduced by 25% to account for merchants who excluded themselves. Any person, business or other entity that accepted Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards in the U.S. at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012 may be eligible to receive a payment from this fund. The second is a fund equivalent to a portion of interchange fees attributable to certain merchants that accept Visa or MasterCard credit cards for an eight-month period which began July 29, 2013. That fund is estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion. Additionally, the Settlement requires Visa and MasterCard to modify some of their rules for merchants that accept their cards.
There are two classes in this Class Settlement:
- A Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class (“Cash Settlement Class”), which includes all persons, businesses, and other entities that accepted any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S. at any time from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012, and
- A Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class (“Rule Changes Settlement Class”), which includes all persons, businesses, and other entities that as of November 28, 2012 or in the future accept any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S.