Law360, New York (October 20, 2017)
Club operator Soho House UK Ltd. and more than a dozen other merchants mainly in the hospitality sector filed two separate claims to the Competition List against Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and several subsidiaries on Oct. 17. The claimants are represented by Scott+Scott UK LLP. Counsel information for the defendants was not immediately available.
Both credit card companies have faced a steady stream of antitrust litigation in the U.K. following European Commission decisions taking issue with the companies’ interchange fees, bank-to-bank charges that underpin the swipe fees merchants must pay to process card transactions.
The recent decisions in some of the earlier cases have been a mixed bag for claimants. Grocery chain Sainsbury’s won a £68 million ($90 million) judgment against MasterCard in 2016, and Visa has settled some of the retailer suits. But MasterCard also won a 2017 ruling that its more recent swipe fees didn’t run afoul of the law as well as a July decision refusing to allow a consumer class action over the fees to move forward.
The cases are Soho House UK Ltd. and others v. Visa Europe Ltd. and another, case number CP-2017-000016, and Soho House UK Ltd. and others v. Mastercard Inc. and others, case number CP-2017-000015, in the High Court of England and Wales.