BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has announced the settlement of a lawsuit charging Visa and Mastercard, along with certain banks, with violation of antitrust laws that caused merchants to pay excessive fees for accepting credit and debit cards.
Visa and Mastercard say they’ve done nothing wrong and the Court has not decided who is right, but the parties have agreed to a settlement. A Court hearing will be held on Nov. 7, 2019 to decide whether to approve that settlement.
Visa, Mastercard and the bank defendants have agreed to provide approximately $6.24 billion in class settlement funds, making this the largest antitrust class-action settlement in history. After deducting court-awarded attorneys' fees and costs, the net class settlement fund will be used to pay valid claims from merchants that accepted Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards at any time between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 25, 2019.
According to legal rights and options, merchants may:
- Exclude themselves from the Settlement Class, which means they will not receive any money from this settlement but can individually sue the defendants on their own and at their own expense. To do so, merchants must make a written request, place it in an envelope and mail it with postage prepaid and postmarked no later than July 23, 2019, or send it by overnight delivery for arrival by July 23, 2019, to Class Administrator, Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement, P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530.
- Object to the settlement. The deadline to object is July 23, 2019. To learn how to object, visit www.PaymentCardSettlement.com or call 1-800-625-6440. Note: Merchants who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class cannot object to the settlement.
- File a claim to seek payment. To receive payment, merchants will be required to fill out a claim form. Claims cannot yet be filed until the Court approves the proposed settlement. If it is approved, the Court will approve a claim form and set a claim deadline. Claim forms will then be mailed to all identified merchants. When the time comes to file claims, merchants can submit them via mail or email, or may file online at www.PaymentCardSettlement.com.
For more information, visit: www.PaymentCardSettlement.com. Members of the Settlement Class who do not exclude themselves by the deadline will be bound by the terms of this settlement.
Under the settlement, merchants who submit timely, valid claims will receive a pro rata share based on the interchange fees attributable to their transactions during the class period, i.e., Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 24, 2019. If more than 25% of class members opt-out of the class, the defendants will have the ability to terminate the settlement.
The Nov. 7 Court hearing also will address the requests for attorneys' fees and expenses, and awards for the Class Plaintiffs for their representation of merchants in MDL 1720. The hearing will take place at:
United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Members of the Settlement Class do not have to attend the Court hearing or hire an attorney, but they may attend at their own expense. The Court has appointed the law firms of Robins Kaplan LLP, Berger Montague PC, and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP as Rule 23(b)(3) Class Counsel to represent the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class.
For more details about this case, call toll-free at 1-800-625-6440 or visit
www.PaymentCardSettlement.com. Members also may write to the Class Administrator at Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement, P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR, 97208-2530 or email info@PaymentCardSettlement.com.