Visa Interchange

In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1720

What is it About?

The lawsuit is about claims that merchants paid excessive fees to accept Visa and Mastercard cards because Visa and Mastercard, individually, and together with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws.

This lawsuit relates to interchange fees paid by merchants that accepted Visa or Mastercard branded credit/debit cards between January 1, 2004 and January 25, 2019.  The plaintiffs allege that:

  • Visa & MasterCard and their respective member banks violated the law because they fixed interchange fees at anti-competitive levels
  • Visa & MasterCard violated the law by imposing and enforcing rules that limited merchants from steering their customers to other payment methods (no-surcharge rules, no-discounting rules, honor-all-cards rules). Doing so insulated them from competitive pressure to lower the interchange fees
  • Visa & Mastercard conspired together about the alleged business practices

What is the Status?

The Court has granted final approval to a settlement of $5.54 billion. Claim filing is expected to start December 1, 2023

Expected payout is roughly 2025, but that timing could certainly change.

Who is Eligible?

The settlement creates the following Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class: All persons, businesses, and other entities that have accepted any Visa-Branded Cards and/or Mastercard-Branded Cards in the United States at any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019.

The Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class shall not include (a) the Dismissed Plaintiffs, (b) the United States government, (c) the named Defendants in this Action or their directors, officers, or members of their families, or (d) financial institutions that have issued Visa-Branded Cards or Mastercard-Branded Cards or acquired Visa-Branded Card transactions or Mastercard- Branded Card transactions at any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019.

How much will it Pay?

The settlement that received final approval will be for a minimum of at least $5.54 billion and a maximum of approximately $6.24 billion.

What are the Deadlines?

The deadline to exclude yourself from the settlement or file an objection to the settlement passed on July 23, 2019.

Additional Information

Claim forms are being delivered and are available online beginning December 1, 2023. Class members need not sign up for a third-party service in order to participate in any monetary relief. No-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during the claims-filing period. You may visit https://www.paymentcardsettlement.com/en for more information.

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