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UK: Sainsbury wins $91 million in Mastercard fee dispute

 |  July 14, 2016

Sainsbury was awarded $91 million by a London judge following a long-running dispute over fees charged on card transactions with Mastercard Inc.

Mastercard charges on UK credit and debit card transactions restricted competition, according to a Competition and Appeal Tribunal judgment published Thursday.

The judgment is the first in a series of claims brought by retailers in the UK and Europe, alleging that Mastercard and Visa charged anti-competitive and excessive fees on debit and credit card transactions. The retailers are seeking combined damages of more than 1.2 billion pounds.

“This marks the first substantial award in a competition damages claim in the UK, and we believe in Europe,” Sarah Houghton, a lawyer at Mishcon de Reya advising the supermarket chain, said in an e-mail. “It has an importance well beyond the precedent it sets for claims against the Mastercard and Visa schemes.”

The 69-million pound victory is equivalent to more than a day’s sales for Sainsbury, which brought in 23.5 billion pounds last year.

Mastercard agreed to pay UK supermarket Tesco Plc $61 million last year to settle a separate lawsuit over the fees.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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