MasterCard sued for 19 billion dollar biggest damage claim in Britain

MasterCard, biggest debit and credit card service provider company sued for biggest 19 billion dollar damage claim by around 46 million people in Britain.

The biggest damage claim of whopping 19 billion dollar could potentially benefit 46 million people in Britain. The case brought by a former chief financial services ombudsman alleges the payments company MasterCard for charging excessive fees to stores when shoppers swiped their debit or credit cards and these was passed on to consumers at higher prices according to court documents filed in London.

MasterCard has been sued for allegedly charging users excess fees
MasterCard has been sued for allegedly charging users excess fees

It was continue for 16 years between 1992 and 2008, in more than 600 pages of documents filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Thursday.

MasterCard denied any wrongdoing in a statement. “We continue to firmly disagree with the basis of this claim and intend to oppose it vigorously,” the world’s second-largest payments network said.

The lawsuit comes after the European Union’s antitrust regulator found in 2014 Mastercard’s fees to store owners to process payments were excessive.

Who will get the claim of suit filed on payment company MasterCard ?

Any person living in Britain who used a credit card, cash or cheques, and was over 16 years old in the period covered by the lawsuit, will automatically be part of the claim.

If the £14-billion claim was shared equally between the number of eligible claimants, each person could receive more than 300 pounds each, according to a Reuters’ calculation.

What is allegation on payment company MasterCard ?

MasterCard charged shops fees in excess of 1 percent for card use on international transaction between  1992 and 2008 according to a lawyer working on the case.

Although the EU’s anti-trust regulator only ruled MasterCard’s international fees were illegal, this impacted British consumers as it was the default fee used in Britain.

Two years ago, the EU had capped the fees that retailers pay, at 0.2 per cent for debit cards and 0.3 per cent for credit cards.

Merricks in a statement said the case is a watershed moment for consumer compensation in Britain.

Merricks was head of Britain’s financial services ombudsmen for ten years until 2009, helping to settle disputes between consumers and financial services companies.

Consumers no longer living in Britain, but who lived in the country between 1992 and 2008, can opt in to the collective claim against MasterCard.

Any hearing on the case is not expected until early 2018, unless MasterCard settles it out of court.

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