MasterCard and Visa ask UK tribunal to halt new mass actions


MasterCard (MA.N) and Visa (V.N) are battling a dispute over fees charged to retailers. On Monday, their lawyers told a London tribunal the proposed joint lawsuits are pointless.

The two firms are already facing litigation in London over so-called multilateral interchange fees, which retailers pay when customers use a card to make a purchase.

Hundreds of claimants have sued Visa and MasterCard at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, which is currently handling the cases together.

The Special Purpose Vehicle Commercial and Interregional Card Claims (CICC) brought another lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard remaining year, in search of damages on behalf of traders who have been overcharged.

The CICC is asking the tribunal to certify its cases under the UK’s Collective Actions Act, which is roughly equivalent to the US class action system.

Its lawyer, Michael Bosher, said on Monday that claimants in its lawsuit will include small businesses that have not sued Visa or MasterCard because of a lack of resources or their “risk appetite.

He argued that allowing CICC cases to proceed would “ensure that the benefits of justice and compensation are not limited to a narrow section of potential claimants”. Bausher said in written arguments that most potential claimants — 85% of visa cases — have yet to file.

But lawyers for Visa and MasterCard say the need for a joint process is diminished by the fact that thousands of merchants have already sued them. Visa’s attorney Brian Kennelly stated in courtroom docket filings that greater than 2, three hundred UK claimants are currently suing Visa, more than 250 with a turnover of fewer than 5 million pounds ($4 million).

“These proposed collective complaints aren’t approximately imparting get right of entry to justice for folks who can not are seeking for justice for themselves,” he added.

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