Notice of a $6+ billion dollar class action settlement with merchants who have accepted Visa and MasterCard at any time since January 1, 2004.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has ordered a notification program about preliminary approval of a Class Settlement among merchants, Visa, MasterCard, and other Defendants in a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that merchants paid excessive fees for accepting Visa and MasterCard because of an alleged conspiracy among the Defendants.
The monetary portion of the Class Settlement consists of two funds. The first is a cash fund in the amount of $6.05 billion. Any person, business or other entity that accepted Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards in the U.S. at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012 may be eligible to receive a payment from the $6.05 billion fund. The second is a fund equivalent to a portion of interchange fees attributable to certain merchants that accept Visa or MasterCard credit cards for an eight-month period to start by July 29, 2013. That fund is estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion. Additionally, the Settlement will require Visa and MasterCard to modify some of their rules for merchants that accept their cards.
There are two Classes in this proposed Class Settlement:
- A Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class (“Cash Settlement Class”), which includes all persons, businesses, and other entities that accepted any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S. at any time from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012, and
- A Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class (“Rule Changes Settlement Class”), which includes all persons, businesses, and other entities that as of November 28, 2012 or in the future accept any Visa or MasterCard cards in the U.S.
Requesting Exclusion or Objecting
Members of the Cash Settlement Class can exclude themselves from that Class. Members of the Rule Changes Settlement Class cannot exclude themselves from that Class. Members of either Class can object to any part of the proposed Class Settlement. The deadline to object or to be excluded is May 28, 2013. The long-form notice explains how to request exclusion or object.
The Court has appointed the law firms of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, Berger & Montague, PC, and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP to represent the Class as Class Counsel.
Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses
For work done through final approval of the settlement by the District Court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees in an amount that is a reasonable proportion of the Cash Settlement Fund, not to exceed 11.5% of the Cash Settlement Fund of $6.05 billion and 11.5% of the Interchange Fund estimated to be $1.2 billion to compensate all of the lawyers and their law firms that have worked on the class case. Class Counsel will also request reimbursement of their expenses (not including the administrative costs of settlement or notice), not to exceed $40 million and up to $200,000 per Class Plaintiff in service awards for their efforts on behalf of the classes
By April 11, 2013, Class Counsel will file papers seeking the Court’s final approval of the Class Settlement Agreement, and the Court’s approval of attorneys’ fees and expenses. Class Counsel will also file any additional details regarding the Plan of Administration and Distribution. As these papers become available, they will be posted on this website.
At 10:00 a.m. on September 12, 2013, the Court has scheduled a hearing to decide if the Class Settlement will be finally approved. The hearing will be held at the Courthouse for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
If the Court grants final approval of the Class Settlement, Claim Forms will be sent to all known Class members. Claim Forms will also be available at this website or by calling the Class Administrator at the toll-free number shown below.
Preregistration is optional and does not affect your rights under the settlement. Merchants with multiple locations and/or franchise locations as well as single location merchants are encouraged to Preregister. The information you provide will be used to assist the Class Administrator in the preparation of your Claim Form.
To obtain more information, click on any of the following links:
- View the long-form notice
- View the Frequently Asked Questions page
- View the Documents page including the Class Settlement Agreement and other documents
In case of questions, call 1-800-625-6440 or send an email to info@PaymentCardSettlement.com.