Millions of UK consumers could claim compensation from Mastercard
Two years ago, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) rejected Walter Merricks’ claim against Mastercard.
Mr Merricks, 73, has taken legal actions against Mastercard on behalf of consumers.
The former financial ombudsman argues that 46 million UK consumers paid higher prices in shops between 1992 and 2008 due to the allegedly excessive interchange fees that Mastercard charged businesses for processing card transactions.
The European Commission ruled these fees unlawful in 2007 and in breach of competition law.
Now the Court of Appeal has ordered Competition Appeal Tribunal to reconsider the case.
Originally, the tribunal rejected the 73-year-old’s claim due to no clear evidence of how the fees had been passed on to consumers or absorbed by retailers. There was also an issue of how individual losses were to be calculated.
However, the court said that was not a good enough reason for rejecting certification for a court action.
Theoretically speaking, if successful, this £14 billion lawsuit would mean possible compensation to nearly every adult in the UK.
Anyone who was aged 16 or over between 1992 and 2008 and can prove they were in the UK at the time, could claim compensation from Mastercard of up to £300.
This includes people who have never have owned a Mastercard, as Mr Merricks states all consumers would have been affected by these higher prices and not just the Mastercard holders.
This is the biggest class action in British legal history. It was also one of the first cases brought under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Nevertheless, the case has a long way to go. It will now likely go back to the tribunal, which will have to reconsider its decision to reject certification back in July 2017.
Mastercard continues to disagree with the basis of the claim. It believes that their payment service provides real value in security, convenience and consumer protection to their UK costumers.
Mastercard also states they will fight the case, going as far as the supreme court if necessary.
Mr Merricks’ class action, previously financed by litigation funder Gerchen Keller Capital, is now funded by Innsworth Litigation Funding, with no financial details made public.
If Mr Merricks is in fact correct about the increase in price at shops and businesses due to the unlawful fees, then it will only be fair for the people affected to receive compensation.
The best everyone else can do now is wait to see how the case plays out.
We wish Mr Merricks’ the best of luck and hope his claim will be successful.
At Phoenix Solicitors, we admire his determination and understand his need to give people back what they deserve. This is why we represent people in various types of claims, so they can receive the compensation they are owed.
Whether you need advice on medical negligence, serious injury, personal injury and many others, we have you covered.