Competition Appeal Tribunal judgment in Merricks v Mastercard collective proceedings

7 March, 2024

On 26 February 2024 the Competition Appeal Tribunal, in a unanimous judgment, determined a central issue in the long-running Merricks v Mastercard proceedings in favour of Mastercard.

The claim is a class action brought by Mr Merricks CBE on behalf of all those who, between 22 May 1992 and 21 June 2008, were UK residents over the age of 16 and bought goods or services from UK businesses that accepted Mastercard cards (whether or not they in fact paid using a Mastercard card).

The claim seeks an estimated £10 billion of damages on behalf of a class said to comprise around 45.5 million people, and was described by the Tribunal as ‘gargantuan’.

The issue was whether, from 1992 to 2008, the levels of interchange fees on Mastercard credit card transactions within the UK had, as a matter of fact, been caused by the levels of such fees on cross-border Mastercard credit card transactions within the European Economic Area.

Following a four-week trial in July 2023, the Tribunal rejected all of the class representative’s allegations that there was any such causal link.

The Tribunal’s judgment ([2024] CAT 14) can be found here.

Joe Smouha KC and Stephen Donnelly appeared for Mastercard, instructed by Mark Sansom and Ricky Versteeg of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.