Visa/MC $5.74 billion Settlement Approved

On December 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a $5.74 billion Class Settlement among merchants, Visa, MasterCard and other Defendants in the class-action lawsuit. The settlement “secures both a significant damage award and meaningful injunctive relief for a class of merchants that would face a substantial likelihood of securing no relief at all if this case were to proceed,” stated Judge John Gleeson in his ruling.

U.S. Merchants who processed Visa and MasterCard transactions between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012 will be eligible to file a claim once the Court approves a Claims Form and determines when the Form needs to be sent to Class Members. We encourage all eligible merchants to preregister with the Official Court-authorized settlement website at www.paymentcardsettlement.com if they want to file a claim on their own.

The settlement was reduced from $7.25 billion to $5.74 billion after about 8,000 merchants, including Walmart, Target, Amazon, Macy’s and others, opted out. Several retailers and trade groups are appealing the final settlement since this would shield the card networks and banks from future litigation. Judge Gleeson disagreed and stated the rules didn’t release the defendants from liability for claims based on new rules but limited future damage claims based on the pre-settlement conduct of the networks.