The U.K.’s Commercial Court has weighed in favor of Mastercard in a dispute brought by a group of U.K. retailers claiming Mastercard’s interchange fees restricted competition.
The Commercial Court explored the costs and benefits retailers derive from Mastercard’s payment system and found that Mastercard’s interchange fees were fair and necessary for the payment system to function, Mastercard said in a Jan. 30 press release. In fact, Mastercard’s interchange fees were significantly below the lawful level of interchange that could have been charged to the retailers for benefits received, Mastercard noted in the release.
Mastercard views the decision as a “confirmation of the legitimacy and importance of interchange in our payment system,” Mastercard said in the release, which pertains to a case brought in the Commercial Court, the major civil court in England and Wales.
In a separate case, Mastercard earlier this month argued before the U.K.’s Competition Tribunal that a $17 billion class-action lawsuit filed last year that charges Mastercard with infringing on European Union competition law doesn’t meet the standards for a class-action suit, according to reports.
Walter Merricks, a U.K. attorney and former U.K. chief financial services ombudsman filed the lawsuit in September seeking compensation for millions of consumers who allegedly overpaid via interchange fees on credit and debit transactions between 1992 and 2008.