MasterCard facing consumer class action in largest claim in British history

MasterCard is facing a legal claim of £14 billion, the largest claim in UK history.

The claim was brought on behalf of around 46 million UK consumers who were allegedly overcharged by the credit card group.

According to law firm Quinn Emanuel - the firm which filed the suit through the Competition Appeal Tribunal – MasterCard had been systematically imposing “interchange fees” on its customers which were set at an unlawfully high level and served to push up prices.

The claim follows on from a 10 year legal battle between MasterCard and the European Commission, which culminated in 2014 with a ruling that the credit card group’s cross-border transactions were excessively high.

Quinn Emanuel commented:

“MasterCard lost this battle at every level and showed complete disregard for its cardholders and consumers at large, focusing instead on generating unlawful profits.”

According to the claimants, the fact that MasterCard’s fees have been ruled unlawful in the European court, means that the claim needs only to prove that consumers suffered loss as a result of the fee policy.

MasterCard has released a statement stating that they intend to oppose the claim vigorously and disagree with its basis.

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Lexoo Legal Brief contributor | LLM, Queen Mary University of London
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