Belfast Telegraph

Tribunal denies bid for £14bn class action lawsuit against Mastercard

A proposed £14 billion class action lawsuit against Mastercard will not proceed after a tribunal ruled the case cannot go to trial.

The claim by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks, relating to the card giant's interchange fees, was lodged on behalf of around 46 million consumers.

It alleged that the fees effectively resulted in consumers paying higher prices to businesses that accept Mastercard over a 16-year period, therefore beaching EU competition law.

The damages being sought were more than £14 billion, but the Competition Appeal Tribunal said the case could not proceed through a so-called collective action.

The tribunal found that even if loss had been suffered and could be estimated across the whole class, there was no way of ensuring that an individual would receive an amount compensating for any loss suffered.

Mastercard said in a statement: "We welcome the Competition Appeal Tribunal's judgment refusing certification for the proposed collective action.

"As set out in Mastercard's arguments to date, we believe that the claims were completely unsuitable to be brought under the collective actions regime. The tribunal sided with this position.

"We firmly believe that consumers derive real value from our network through the benefits of security, convenience and consumer protection, and we remain committed to investing in our services in order to continue to meet the rapidly evolving needs of all our customers."