On March 15, 2023, a federal appeals court upheld a settlement of $5.6 billion between a class of merchants seeking monetary compensation for alleged antitrust violations relating to interchange fees paid in connection with Mastercard and Visa credit and debit card transactions. The settlement was originally struck in 2019 with Mastercard, Visa, and a number of their member banks.
In long-running litigation that has taken more than a decade to resolve, plaintiffs alleged that the credit card networks and banks colluded to inflate the interchange fees charged to merchants at the point of sale, and instituted card acceptance rules that prevented competition. Coherent Economics Founder and Chairman Alan Frankel was retained to serve as an expert witness on liability and damages by co-lead counsel for the class, Robins Kaplan, Berger Montague, and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.
The settlement is widely regarded as the largest private antitrust settlement in history.