Visa "indirect purchaser" litigation
Our attorneys have represented Visa USA in its defense of more than 40 state court so-called "indirect purchaser" actions filed in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs are consumers who seek to represent classes of residents of one or more states that purchased goods or services at merchants that accepted Visa-branded payment cards, allegedly at higher prices, as a result of the purported "tying" and other alleged anti-competitive conduct at issue in In re Visa Check/ MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y.). One action was brought by the West Virginia Attorney General.
The plaintiffs assert claims under state antitrust statutes and, in some actions, claims under state consumer protection statutes and/or common-law claims for unjust enrichment, money had and received, and/or civil conspiracy. Our attorneys have prevailed at the trial court level in getting motions to dismiss granted in 16 states (on antitrust standing and other grounds), in decisions addressing issues of first impression under state antitrust and consumer protection laws.
Our attorneys prevailed on a motion to dismiss in Nass-Romero v. Visa U.S.A. Inc., et al., in the New Mexico District Court for Santa Fe County, based on a lack of antitrust standing and other grounds. The plaintiff appealed with respect to the antitrust claims and, in a decision issued on April 18, 2012, the New Mexico Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal.
In August 2012, our attorneys negotiated a revised class settlement in the Credit/Debit Card Tying Cases, a consolidated proceeding in the San Francisco Superior Court that includes thirteen class actions. The settlement provides for cy pres relief to a wide variety of financial literacy and other non-profit organizations. The court preliminarily approved that revised settlement on November 20, 2012 and finally approved the settlement on April 11, 2013. Objectors to the settlement have filed notices of appeal.