Mastercard faces a £14bn law suit in UK

Walter Merricks

The Supreme court of the United kingdom gave a green light for a multi billion law suit against Mastercard. The court's ruling was the last hurdle for the go-ahead for this first mass consumer claim of its kinds, Reuters reported.

The case enforces a 14bn pound class action against Mastercard for allegedly overcharging more than 46 million people in Britain over a 15-year period.

The long-running case has been brought by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks on behalf of all individuals over 16 who were resident in the UK for at least three months between 1992 and 2008 and who bought an item or service from a UK business which accepted Mastercard, BBC elaborated.

He alleges that fees which Mastercard charged businesses for accepting payments from consumers, known as interchange fees, led to UK consumers paying higher prices on purchases from businesses that accepted Mastercard.

Mastercard has said it "disagrees fundamentally with the basis of the claim".

Merrick’s original claim was thrown out by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The Court of Appeal said the CAT had applied the wrong legal test in making its decision, a ruling now upheld in a majority decision by Supreme Court judges.

If the £14bn is ultimately awarded and divided between the 46 million eligible people the payout would amount to £300 each.

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