If you accepted Visa or MasterCard between January 1, 2004, and January 24, 2019, you are part of a class action lawsuit that resulted in a more than $6 billion settlement. The official name of the class action lawsuit is Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation (MDL No. 1720).
Current Status: On Friday December 13th, 2020 Judge Brodie of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, NY granted final approval of the Visa/MasterCard Interchange Fee Settlement. This proposes that $5.56 billion–$6.26 billion in payments be made to any Merchants who accepted Visa and MasterCard at any time from January 1, 2004 through January 24, 2019. The terms of this proposed settlement modify and supersede the previous settlement that was remanded by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016.
Update: The Judge’s ruling confirmed, despite any reservations expressed during the last Fairness Hearing (11/7/19), that the proposed settlement is fair and adequate.
Next Steps: By clearing the remaining administrative issues from the case, the Court can move forward with declaring a claim form (enrollment) deadline and publishing the official claim form details (not yet available).
What is this case all about?
- The original court case was between a group of merchants (on one side) and Visa, MasterCard, and issuing banks (on the other side) about unfair practices related to interchange fees.
- Interchange is the fee collected by banks every time a merchant accepts payment from a customer using a credit card. We don’t have to tell you how high the fees have gotten.
- The lack of competition meant steadily rising fees and no alternatives. Finally, merchants fought back and sued.
- Both parties originally agreed to settle for more than $7 billion dollars. After some discussion and separate agreements, the Judge approved the allocation plan on December 13, 2019.
What are Your options?
- Option 1: Do nothing and do not receive your share of the settlement. Note: If you want to participate, you must take action to receive compensation.
- Option 2: File your own claim by working with the official settlement administrator. For more information, and contact details for no cost assistance, you can visit www.paymentcardsettlement.com. Claim forms are not yet available and there is no requirement to file with a third-party provider •
- Option 3: Retain Brownstone Recovery Group to work on your behalf and help you recover your share of the settlement. Our areas of expertise are interchange fees and class action settlements. We focus on your claim while you focus on your business. This link will take you directly to the first step then simply click on the “Enroll” button.
Brownstone’s broad expertise includes successfully handling the previous Visa/MasterCard class action case. Visit our website for more information. If you are interested, simply provide your contact information – we will confirm your enrollment, keep you up to date on the settlement progress, and file your claim(s).