Marchbanks Truck Service Inc., et al. v. Comdata Network, Inc., et al.
Berger Montague managing shareholder Eric L. Cramer and shareholder Andrew C. Curley were co-lead counsel for a Settlement Class of approximately 6,500 independent truck stops and other retail fueling facilities in a long-running antitrust lawsuit that settled for a combined amount of $130 million plus valuable prospective relief that rolled back much of the conduct Plaintiffs had challenged as anticompetitive.
The lawsuit alleged that Comdata, Inc. (“Comdata”) had imposed anticompetitive anti-steering provisions in its agreements with truck stops that artificially inflated the fees these merchants paid when accepting the Comdata fleet card from truckers for payment. The lawsuit further alleged that Comdata and its parent company, Ceridian, LLC, had engaged in anticompetitive agreements with TravelCenters of America LLC, Pilot Travel Centers LLC, and Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc., in which the chains agreed not to compete with Comdata’s Fleet Card in exchange for Comdata providing these chains with a massive transaction fee advantage. The lawsuit alleged that this conduct, taken together, insulated Comdata from competition, enhanced its market power, and led to independent truck stops paying artificially inflated transaction fees.
The case settled in 2014 for $130 million. The Court described the settlement as “substantial, both in absolute terms, and when assessed in light of the risks of establishing liability and damages in this case.” In addition to the $130 million settlement payment, the prospective relief portion of the settlement involved meaningful and enforceable commitments by Comdata to modify or not enforce those portions of its contracts that the plaintiffs challenged as anticompetitive.
LEAD ATTORNEYS: Eric L. Cramer, Andrew C. Curley