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July 5, 2018

UK retailers win card fee battle against Mastercard, Visa

The UK’s Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of British supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, Argos, Morrisons and Asda in the latest round of an ongoing lawsuit with Mastercard and Visa over card charges.

In the legal dispute, the retailers accused Mastercard and Visa of over-charging interchange fees, which have to be paid by retailers upon usage of a credit or debit card by a customer.

The court said that the fee was too high and infringed the European Union (EU) competition law.

It has sent the case to the Competition and Appeals Tribunal (CAT) in order to establish the lawful level of the charges and make a decision on the damages to be paid by Visa and Mastercard to the retailers.

Commenting on the ruling, Sainsbury’s said: “We will consider the judgment carefully and remain confident in the next hearing at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which will examine whether there is any lawful level of interchange fee for either scheme and establish our damages.”

Mastercard, which is currently reviewing the judgment, noted: “However, we continue to firmly believe that retailers derive real value from our network, and we are committed to helping our retail partners grow their businesses and encourage the adoption of ever more convenient, safe and secure payments.”

 

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