The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied a request from Home Depot Inc. and other merchants to expedite the appeals process for the $7.25 billion settlement of the class action swipe fee lawsuit against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. The court stated it was deferring briefing for an appeal of the settlement until the settlement receives final approval from the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where the litigation is currently pending. A ruling on final approval is expected next year.
The merchants contend the settlement offers little change to the anticompetitive practices of Visa and Mastercard, but grants virtual immunity from future antitrust challenges for these financial services companies and their banking partners. The settlement would end the seven-year class-action lawsuit that alleges that Visa and MasterCard, along with large banks that issue credit cards, conspired to set fees at arbitrarily high levels. The settlement would pay $6.05 billion to as many as eight million merchants, and temporarily reduce fees by $1.2 billion total.
Categories: Class Actions of Interest