The largest-ever class action settlement of an antitrust case appears to be nearing an end. Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc, and banks including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, have agreed to pay $6.2 billion as part of the settlement.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2005 by merchants who alleged card companies set credit-card fees and card-acceptance rules that benefit the banks, which owned Visa and MasterCard at the time. Both are now public companies. It was previously settled in US District Court but thrown out on appeals. After throwing out the the settlement, the court divided the merchants’ claims into two separate classes, one for monetary damages and the other for Visa and Mastercard’s business practices. This settlement is for the class focused on monetary damages.
What do merchants need to do? Nothing. The settlement must still be approved by a court. Further information will be released at a later date.