Interchange Litigation Decision to be Announced on Wednesday in Landmark Ruling

16th June 2020
Contributor:
Wayne Ashall
Wayne Ashall

The Supreme Court’s decision on the interchange litigation case – which has seen the merchant community take on Visa and Mastercard over anti-competitive interchange fees – is due to be announced on Wednesday, 17th June.

This landmark ruling will conclude several years of economic and legal battle over the rate of interchange fees set by Visa and Mastercard. Many of the UK’s biggest retailers have already lodged substantial claims against the global schemes, with Sainsbury’s et al. previously being awarded over £69 million at the Court of Appeal.

Wednesday’s decision will determine whether any part of the interchange fees set by the schemes have been an unlawful restriction on competition – although the judgment may not specify exactly how much the merchants are entitled to.

This could be the most ground-breaking decision in the history of the payments industry, possibly setting precedent for an influx of claims from merchants operating in the UK. CMSPI has long campaigned against the high interchange fees faced by the merchant community – both before and after the Interchange Fee Regulation was introduced – and we have waited with anticipation, alongside the merchant community, for this ruling.

The decision will sit on a spectrum: it’s not a simple win/lose outcome, and the result may be limited to the merchants who have lodged a claim. Those who haven’t already claimed should be evaluating their options and different courses of action now to prevent falling to the back of the queue. Given the limitation on claim periods, merchants need to act fast to take full advantage of the higher fees paid six years ago, compared to regulated rates today.

We’re currently supporting over 50 merchants in quantifying and progressing their claims. Calculating and substantiating accurate claims are extremely complex undertakings. There are a variety of factors impacting your true claim value: with our extensive benchmarking data and payments industry expertise, we’re able to calculate and corroborate your claim in full – significantly increasing the likelihood of your claim succeeding.

We’ll be keeping our community up to date as the news unfolds. However, if you would like to find out more about the potential outcomes, and what your business should be doing now to prepare, please get in touch to request our memorandum – outlining possible outcomes and what they could mean for merchants.

[Please note that CMSPI is not a law firm nor is it in the business of providing legal advice or counsel.]

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Understand what the decision could mean for merchants