lb14 Billion Mastercard Class Action Greenlit by Court
A lb14 billion class action lawsuit against Mastercard for allegedly overcharging 46 million British consumers on the 16-year period has been given the green light to proceed through the UK Top court, dismissing an appeal in the payments company.
The action was brought by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks and claims that over 46 million UK consumers paid higher prices in shops between 1992 and 2008 because of allegedly excessive transaction fees charged by Mastercard.
The Supreme Court's judgement on Friday upholds an earlier decision through the Court of Appeal in 2021 to dismiss an appeal brought by Mastercard after losing a lengthy appeal against a 2007 European commission ruling that its fees were anti-competitive.
Merricks claimed that the maximum payout in the class action would be lb300 for anybody in a position to prove that they were in the united kingdom in the 16 years between 1992 and 2008. Around 46 million adults could qualify for this payout without needing to have ever held a Mastercard.
Mastercard said inside a statement that it fundamentally disagreed using the claim, which it referred to as being pushed by “hit and hope” American lawyers.
The ruling quickly drew attention from legal experts.
“This is a very important judgment which will keep alive the sensible utility of the collective action regime,” Rob Murray, Partner at Mishcon de Reya, remarked. “It necessitates the CAT to reconsider its decision on certification, paying particular attention to its approach to the most important error of law: that an arguable claim can't be dismissed simply because of perceived difficulties in assessing aggregate damages should it succeed.
Sarah Houghton, Partner at Mishcon de Reya, also commented in the news. “The CAT’s role because the “expert gatekeeper” with sole jurisdiction over these types of collective claims for competition law damages has certainly received a shot within the arm because of this. The judgment will also likely provide the CAT confidence in the method of other cases where complex issues of certification need to be addressed,” she said.