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UK: Appeal against Visa, Mastercard fees starts

 |  April 16, 2018

According to a report by Bloomberg, a case between retailers and credit-card companies that has lasted five years reached a London appeals court Monday, April 16, that could determine the fates of lawsuits potentially worth billions.

Retailers, which include Wal-Mart, Asda and Sainsbury, are arguing that some fees set by Visa and Mastercard are anti-competitive. At issue is the use of 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.

A ruling on the competitive nature of the swipe fees will draw together various long-running disputes and put the world’s biggest payment networks on notice for billions of dollars in claims. Mastercard faces at least 10 lawsuits filed by retailers in the UK totaling as much as US$2 billion in claims, according to Bloomberg.

Visa is seeking to uphold a 2017 ruling by Judge Stephen Phillips, who said the transactions are legal. But the retailers are hoping the appeals court sides with a group of specialty antitrust judges who in 2016 ruled that Mastercard owed Sainsbury’s £69 million (US$99 million).

Full Content: Bloomberg

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