Visa/MasterCard Interchange Fee Antitrust Opt-Out
Calcaterra Pollack LLP represented the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA”) and several of its entities in the antitrust action, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, et al. v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., et al., Case No. 19-cv-04256 (E.D.N.Y.), alleging restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act against Visa and MasterCard. The lawsuit was an “opt-out” action from a class action filed in 2005 in In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1720 (MKB) (JO), and principally concerned defendants’ allegedly unlawful actions to impose and enforce rules that limited merchants from steering their customers to other payment methods, thereby causing merchants to pay excessive interchange fees. Merchants throughout the U.S., including the MTA, were forced to pay non-competitive fees to the credit card companies for over fourteen years. This opt-out litigation sought an increased recovery beyond what could have been achieved otherwise. The MTA also received a settlement years before class members who did not opt-out of the class action settlement.