In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation
Record-Setting $5.5 Billion Settlement Approved in Visa/Mastercard Interchange Antitrust Case
In an order dated December 13, 2019, the Honorable Margo K. Brodie of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted final approval of the settlement reached by the parties in the action In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720. The cash settlement amount is approximately $5.54 billion.
As part of this settlement, defendants contributed additional funds to the class settlement fund that remained from an earlier settlement in 2012, which was approved by the district court in 2013 but was then reversed on appeal in 2016. The court noted that class counsel “has without question done a tremendous job in litigating this case.” The newest settlement, believed to be the largest antitrust class action settlement of all time, was upheld by the Second Circuit in March 2023.
“We are pleased that the court found the terms of the settlement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate,” said Alexandra S. Bernay, one of the lead counsel attorneys for the class. The court praised the litigators, stating that class counsel “represent some of the best plaintiff-side antitrust groups in the country.” Additionally, the court noted that class counsel “have also demonstrated the utmost professionalism despite the demands of the extreme perseverance that this case has required, litigating on behalf of a class of over 12 million for over fourteen years, across a changing legal landscape, significant motion practice, and appeal and remand. Class counsel’s pedigree and efforts alone speak to the quality of their representation.”
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee & Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig., No. 1:05-md-01720-MKB-JO (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2019).