Mastercard £ 14bn class motion again in court docket subsequent month – what it means to you
The former ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Walter Merricks – represented by the law firm Quinn Emanuel – first initiated the proceedings against Mastercard in 2016. He claims the card giant charged unlawful fees to retailers and companies that process transactions between May 22, 1992 and June 21, 2008.
Mr. Merricks believes those fees were then passed on to buyers in the form of higher prices – whether or not they paid with Mastercard. The class action represents all consumers who made purchases in the UK during the above period and at that time were 16 years of age or older and lived in the UK for at least three consecutive months. It’s estimated that any person could get £ 300 if the case is successful, but there’s no guarantee that it will – Mastercard denies the claim, saying they “fundamentally” disagree.
According to Quinn Emanuel, the case will be the first mass consumer claim to fall under the new regime of collective action introduced by Parliament in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. For more information about your legal protection and the importance of the Consumer Rights Act, please see our guide to consumer rights.
Hearing scheduled for the end of March
The next step in this process is a hearing that will take place on March 25th and 26th before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). This examines what can be included in the scope of the case and whether the case can be continued. A verdict on this issue is expected by the end of May, although that is not set in stone. A timetable will then be set for further progress, but it may take a few years to reach a final result.
Any proposed class action member or other interested party wishing to provide oral or written comments on the case to the CAT will have until Friday March 5th to do so. You also have until Monday, March 15, to object to the claim. This must be done in writing – see this legal notice for more information, while the address to which you would like submissions to be returned is on the list Mastercard Consumer Claim Website.
The litigation is backed by the third party Innworth Capital Limited, which has earmarked £ 60.1 million for the payment. If the case is successful, the damage will be reduced.
How the case has progressed so far
Here is a quick recap of the key developments in the Merrick v Mastercard case:
- September 2016: Walter Merricks submits his claim to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).
- July 2017: The CAT ruled that it could not investigate such class action cases.
- August 2017: Mr. Merricks asked for permission to appeal the CAT’s decision.
- September 2017: The CAT denied Mr. Merricks’ request for appeal and instead sought permission from the appeals court.
- April 2019: The appeals court gave Mr. Merricks permission to pursue the case.
- July 2019: Mastercard appealed the appeal court’s decision to the Supreme Court.
- December 2020: The Supreme Court ruled against Mastercard, saying Mr Merricks’ case could continue in the CAT.
What does Mastercard say?
A Mastercard spokesperson said, “This claim is made by US lawyers, not UK consumers. We fundamentally disagree with this claim and we know that Mastercard’s payment technology has brought valuable benefits to people. “