Jun 17, 2020

Mastercard, Visa face billion-pound payouts after top court ruling

Retailers including Asda and Argos are in line for potential billion-pound payouts after the UK's highest court ruled that transaction fees charged by Visa and Mastercard breached competition laws. All five Supreme Court justices on Wednesday found that the fees levied by Visa and Mastercard infringed competition laws and rejected the card issuers' appeal on all grounds except for one. The Supreme Court also ruled that the case brought by Argos, Asda, and Morrison's against Mastercard over card fees can proceed straight to a trial, which will decide how much damages can be paid. Lord Hamblen, a Supreme Court justice, handing down the decision remotely, said in his ruling: "In the Supreme Court's judgment, the Court of Appeal was wrong to allow Mastercard to reopen this issue, which it had lost after a full and fair trial. It offends against the strong principle of public policy and justice that there should be finality in litigation." Mastercard said: "We have received the Supreme Court's decision. It is not a final ruling and there will be further court hearings to determine the key issues raised. We continued to firmly believe that retailers of all sizes derive real value from our network."

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