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 $5.5 billion.
Defendants have contributed additional funds to the class settlement fund that remains from the earlier settlement in 2012. The district court approval of that earlier settlement in 2013 was vacated on appeal in 2016. The court noted that class counsel “has without question done a tremendous job in litigating this case.” Patrick J. Coughlin, lead counsel on the case, said: “The parties believe that the concerns expressed by the Court of Appeals in its 2016 opinion have been fully addressed in this new settlement.” As with the earlier settlement, this settlement is believed to be the largest-ever antitrust class action settlement.
“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).