In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation
Our attorneys represents Visa in a multi-district antitrust litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The litigation includes both a putative class action and individual suits filed by merchants, which include a number of the nation’s largest merchants. In these cases, the plaintiffs challenge the default interchange fees set in the Visa (and MasterCard) systems as well as various rules that apply to merchant conduct, such as Visa’s rules prohibiting merchants from imposing surcharges on customers who use Visa-branded payment cards. The plaintiffs assert claims for price-fixing, attempted monopolization, monopolization, and other restraints of trade. The parties entered into a settlement of the class actions for more than US$6 billion and modification of certain Visa and MasterCard rules. The court approved the class settlement, but thousand of merchants opted out and objected, asserting that the settlement is too favorable to Visa and other defendants. The settlement is now on appeal to the Second Circuit. At the same time, more than 30 suits by several hundred opt out plaintiffs have been filed, and opt-out cases are being litigated.