The competition tribunal has denied Mastercard’s request to appeal its decision regarding a £14 billion class action lawsuit related to swipe fees. The tribunal cited a European Commission decision that prohibited such charges.
On Thursday, the Competition Appeal Tribunal published its decision on Mastercard’s argument that lower card-interchange fees could have still limited competition but would have met the exemption to the bloc’s antitrust rules, which was rejected by the tribunal reported Law360.
According to Judge Peter Roth, the commission’s 2007 finding that Mastercard breached EU competition law by imposing multilateral interchange fees on retailers was not based on the specific amount of the fees.
“It is, of course, very possible that, if Mastercard had argued its case on a different basis, then the basis and effect of the decision might have been different,” Judge Roth said. “But the tribunal is bound by the decision which the commission made, not a decision which it might have made.”
This decision is the latest development in a mammoth claim that alleges millions of British consumers paid higher prices in shops between 1992 and 2008 because of excessively high swipe fees charged by Mastercard.