Berger & Montague is co-lead counsel for a Settlement
Class of merchants who accepted Visa and/or MasterCard credit or
signature debit cards since January of 2004 in an antitrust lawsuit
that settled for approximately $5.2 billion and injunctive relief
that should make the payment card industry more
On December 13, 2013, the district court granted final of the
settlement which is the largest-ever cash payment in an antitrust
class action settlement. In addition to the monetary benefit,
the settlement provides for unprecedented rules changes that will
enable merchants to recover their costs of credit card acceptance,
encourage customers to use less-costly payment methods and brands,
and increase transparency at the point of sale. The
settlement empowers merchants "[f]or the first time,  to expose
hidden bank fees to their customers, educate them about those fees,
and use that information to influence their customers' choices of
payment methods. In short, the settlement gives merchants an
opportunity at the point of sale to stimulate the sort of network
price competition that can exert the downward pressure on
interchange fees they seek." In re Payment Card Interchange
Fee & Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig., 986 F. Supp.
2d 207, 218 (E.D.N.Y. 2013). Presiding Judge John Gleeson
stated: "When the rules changes are combined with the massive
damages fund, the settlement must be labeled a significant success.
That assessment reinforces my judgment that plaintiffs' counsel
litigated the case with skill and tenacity, as would be expected to
achieve such a result." In re Payment Card Interchange
Fee & Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig., 2014 WL 92465,
at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2014). .
The final approval of the settlement is currently on
appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
in September 2015. The appeal was argued in September
LEAD ATTORNEYS: H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Merrill G.
Davidoff, Michael J. Kane