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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 13, 2017 • Issue 17:03:01

Readers Speak

The disappearing $2+ billion settlement

How come there's been no mention lately of the huge settlement with Visa and Mastercard that was in the billions of dollars? Were merchants ever paid?

Will Dunlea, Merchant Level Salesperson


Settlement of the lawsuit over interchange fees and card brand rules filed by 12 million retailers against Visa, Mastercard and their issuing banks unraveled in June 2016, when a three-judge panel in New York's 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the 2013 settlement null and void. In a unanimous decision, they assailed plaintiffs' attorneys for being overpaid and underincented due to conflicts of interest that prohibited them from effectively representing clients.

The judges took issue with the fact that retailers who would take Visa and Mastercard cards in the future shared counsel with retailers who had accepted those cards in the past. The court thus found the deal was unfair to at least some of the merchants accepting the cards in the future.

"This is not a settlement; it is a confiscation," Judge Leval said during the June hearing. "No merchants operating from Nov. 28, 2012, until the end of time will ever be allowed to sue the defendants, either for damages or for an injunction, complaining of any conduct (other than that enjoined) that could have been alleged in the present suit."

We have heard nothing about the case since this ruling but will continue to report on it as new developments come to our attention. Thank you for your question.


Feedback always welcome

We wish to thank Michael Petitti, Senior Vice President of Global Alliances at Trustwave Holdings Inc., for the following note:

I've long known The Green Sheet and have a high regard for the work you do. I've always been a subscriber and an avid reader, and I think you guys do a terrific service for the ISO community. It's a great publication.

We welcome notes from readers ‒ those that let us know what we're doing well and those that let us know how we can do an even better job of helping the payments industry's all-important feet on the street. So drop us a line at greensheet@greensheet.com. end of article

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