BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The claim submission process has started for the largest private antitrust class-action settlement in U.S. history, and millions of business owners nationwide are expected to submit claims to get their portion of the court-approved $5.54 billion settlement.
The class-action suit includes millions of U.S. businesses that accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit or debit cards between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 25, 2019, and who did not previously opt-out.
Claim forms started to be mailed out last month to class members by the U.S. Postal Service.
"This is an historic antitrust class-action settlement that provides some relief for U.S. merchants after years of paying allegedly inflated Visa and Mastercard interchange fees," says K. Craig Wildfang, of Robins Kaplan LLP, co-counsel on the litigation alongside Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and Berger Montague PC.
"The case has been winding its way through the court system for nearly 20 years. Now we look forward to helping class members with the claims process and getting the benefits of the settlement into their hands," says Alexandra Bernay, partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP.
On March 15, 2023, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously upheld the district court's order giving final approval to the $5.54 billion settlement on behalf of U.S. merchants in the "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation" class action lawsuit.
The case relates to claims that merchants allegedly paid excessive fees to accept Visa and Mastercard cards. The suit alleged that Visa and Mastercard and their member banks acted in violation of the antitrust laws.
Full details are available on the settlement website, www.PaymentCardSettlement.com, where class members may also file a claim for their share of the settlement based on their estimated Visa and/or Mastercard interchange fees and other factors during the class period.
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