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Mastercard, Visa Face Payouts After UK Court Case

 |  June 17, 2020

The UK’s top judges ruled in favor of retailers including J Sainsbury in a blow to credit-card companies that could now face billions of pounds in damages, reported Bloomberg. 

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Visa and Mastercard, ruling that fees the companies were charging shops restrict competition.

The long-running litigation now allows Sainsbury as well as other supermarkets including Wal-Mart’s Asda and Wm Morrison Supermarkets, to proceed to a trial on the size of the damages, the judges said in their unanimous ruling Wednesday, June 17. At issue are so-called interchange fees, levied by banks at rates set by the card companies each time a consumer’s plastic is swiped at a register.

Mastercard’s attempt to get a separate tribunal to reconsider some of the issues “offends against the strong principle of public policy and justice that there should be finality in litigation,” the judges said.

“The fixing of interchange fees by Mastercard and its network members over many years was an unlawful infringement of competition law,” Kate Pollock, a lawyer for some of the supermarket chains said in a statement.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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