MLEX – Author: Simon Zekaria –
Visa and Mastercard are facing antitrust damages claims in the UK from automotive tire
retailer Euromaster and several of its units over alleged anticompetitive card-payment
fees, MLex has learned. A High Court listing shows that the companies face separate
actions from more than 10 claimants related to Euromaster, which is owned by Michelin.
Visa and Mastercard are facing antitrust damages claims in the UK from automotive tire retailer Euromaster and several of its units over alleged anticompetitive card-payment fees, MLex has learned.
The two payment-card operators face separate claims from more than 10 plaintiffs at the High Court in London, with actions lodged by Euromaster — a unit of tire maker Michelin — and subsidiaries including UK operation ATS Euromaster and Euromaster France.
The actions, filed with the court on Sept. 14, are listed as “competition” cases, but there are no further details about them.
Visa and Mastercard are already facing several competition-related actions from retailers over
their “multilateral interchange” fees. Transactions with credit and debit cards worldwide are
engineered around the charges — set by the card networks — which are paid by a retailer’s
“acquiring” bank to the cardholder’s “issuing” bank. The acquiring bank then deducts a
“merchant service charge,” including interchange and other costs, before passing payments
on to the retailer.
Multiple companies started actions over the fees following a European Commission ruling in 2007 that said that Mastercard’s fees on cross-border credit and debit card sales breached antitrust rules and inflated the cost of card use for retailers and shoppers. The commission also charged Visa over its own fees in 2002.
The claims are listed as Euromaster France and others v Visa Europe Limited and others and Euromaster France and others v MasterCard Incorporated and others.
Related case file(s)
Antitrust – Visa Inc – MIF – Litigation
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