UK Supreme Court Slaps $18.5B Class Action Against Mastercard.

A landmark UK Supreme Court ruling today has permitted a £14 billion class action against Mastercard for allegedly overcharging more than 46 million people in Britain over a 15-year period.

A landmark UK Supreme Court ruling today has permitted a £14 billion class action against Mastercard for allegedly overcharging more than 46 million people in Britain over a 15-year period.

“Mastercard has been a sustained competition law breaker, imposing excessive card transaction charges over a prolonged period in a way it must have known it would impose an invisible tax on UK consumers,” Walter Merricks, a lawyer who is leading the action, said.

The case focuses on the “interchange fees” which debit and credit card companies claim that they impose on the banks of merchants to cover the costs of card services, innovation and security.

Merricks, who is being assisted by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, alleges that these interchange fees were excessive between 1992 and 2008 and that they were required to be paid by businesses that has accepted Mastercard payments from British consumers.

These were eventually  passed on through elevated shop prices. 

According to Mastercard, the class action against them was being driven by “hit and hope” US lawyers.

Mastercard has also asked the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to “avert the serious risk of the new collective action regime going down the wrong path with a case which is fundamentally flawed.”


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