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Mastercard’s Win in UK Class Action: Priceless

Client memorandum | July 27, 2017

On 21 July 2017, the Competition Appeals Tribunal (“CAT”) issued its landmark judgment dismissing an application brought by Walter Hugh Merricks CBE for a Collective Proceedings Order (“CPO”) under section 47B of the Competition Act 1998 claiming damages against MasterCard Inc. and others (collectively, “Mastercard”) for breaches of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”).   Mr. Merricks’ application was for over 46 million claims to be brought collectively seeking damages of approximately £14 billion. In summary, Mr. Merricks alleged that Mastercard had colluded in setting the interchange fees charged to merchants and that the inflated charges had been passed on by merchants to consumers across the price of all of the merchants’ products. As only the second decision by the CAT on an application for a CPO since the introduction of opt-out claims, this ruling provides important guidance on how the CAT is likely to apply the requirements that need to be satisfied before collective proceedings can be commenced.

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