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English Español UK: Supreme Court rules against Visa and Mastercard for interchange fees

The UK's Supreme Court has come down in favour of the UK's biggest supermarket chains.

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The UK Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals in the interchange litigation case, finding the interchange fees set by Visa and Mastercard to be anti-competitive.

The potential for releasing billions in settlement to merchants will be able to help may retailers deal with the significant revenue damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to independent payments consultancy CMSPI.

“This is a resounding victory for the merchant community - retailers now have a fantastic opportunity to issue claims off the back of this ruling. Further, this ruling could have major ramifications for Interchange Fees in the US, and worldwide,” says Callum Godwin, CMSPI’s Chief Economist

After years of economic and legal battle, retailers operating in the UK now having the opportunity to lodge their own claims to recoup excessive interchange fees.

While the court’s legal ruling is clear, it’s now down to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to quantify the extent of merchants’ losses – and therefore the level of interchange that can now be reclaimed.

Based on claims going back to 2013, the maximum pay-out for UK merchants could be an estimated €17 billion if Visa and Mastercard fail to prove pass-through benefits. If European merchants then proceed, it could be as much as €68 billion (CMSPI estimate).

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