This website has been created to provide information about a proposed collective consumer claim against Mastercard that has been filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal by Walter Merricks CBE (the proposed class representative) on behalf of a proposed “class” of individuals.
The proposed claim relies on a legal finding of the European Commission that Mastercard imposed unlawful fees on transactions processed through its network. These fees were paid by businesses for accepting payments made with a Mastercard credit or debit card in the period 1992 to 2008. More than half a million businesses in the UK, including major supermarkets, that accepted Mastercard cards in the relevant period, paid these unlawful fees, and it is alleged passed these on to consumers in higher retail prices.
The proposed claim says that if between 22 May 1992 and 21 June 2008 you purchased goods and/or services from businesses selling in the UK that accepted Mastercard cards, at a time at which you were both (1) a resident in the UK for a continuous period of at least three months, and (2) aged 16 years or over, you paid higher prices as a result of Mastercard’s unlawful conduct. It is proposed that the claim will be brought on behalf of a class of individuals who meet these conditions with the exception of the categories of persons described in FAQ 6.
The Collective Proceedings Application Notice filed on 6 September 2016, which includes detailed information about the claim and the proposed class representative, can be found here.
The Collective Proceedings Claim Form can be found here.
The Statement of Mr Merricks in support of the claim can be found here.
On 21 November 2016 a case management conference was held by the Tribunal, and its Order, including giving Mastercard time to respond, can be found here.
The hearing of the application took place on 18-20 January 2017 before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The Tribunal heard argument on whether the claim should be allowed to proceed as an opt-out collective action. Transcripts of the three days of the hearing can be found as follows: 18 January here, 19 January here, and 20 January here.
The Tribunal delivered its Judgment on 21 July 2017 and dismissed the application. Its Judgment can be found here.
On 10 August 2017, an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was filed with the Tribunal by Mr Merricks' lawyers. That application can be found here.
On 14 August 2017, a press release regarding the application for permission to appeal was issued, and the press release is available here.
On 28 September 2017, the Tribunal dismissed the application for permission to appeal, and the Tribunal’s decision can be found here.
On 27 October 2017, a press release was issued announcing that Mr Merricks was applying to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal and at the same time applying to the Administrative Court for permission to challenge the Tribunal’s decision by way of judicial review. The press release can be found here.
On 19 January 2018, Lord Justice Hickinbottom ruled that the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court (Administrative Court), constituted by the same Lord Justices of Appeal sitting concurrently as both courts, should hear oral argument on Mr Merricks' applications for permission to appeal and to bring a judicial review. The hearing would determine whether Mr Merricks had the right to appeal the CAT’s refusal to certify the claim and, if he did, whether he should be given permission to bring that appeal. If it was found that there was no right of appeal, the court would decide whether he should be granted permission to bring a judicial review of the CAT’s refusal to certify the collective action. The date for the hearing was set for 31 October 2018.
The Application for Permission to Appeal can be found here, and the Skeleton Argument in support can be found here. The Judicial Review Claim Form can be found here, and the Statement of Facts and Grounds in support can be found here.
A hearing to determine the threshold question of whether a right of appeal against the CAT’s decision was available was heard by the Court of Appeal on 31 October 2018. On 13 November 2018, the Court of Appeal issued judgment in favour of Mr Merricks, confirming that a right of appeal existed, and the judicial review claim therefore fell away. The judgment can be found here.
On 5 and 6 February 2019, the Court of Appeal held a hearing regarding the substantive appeal brought by Mr Merricks against the CAT’s decision. On 16 April 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its unanimous decision, upholding Mr Merricks' appeal, which can be viewed here. A press release was issued and can be found here.
On 25 July 2019, the Supreme Court ordered that Mastercard be given permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s Judgment.
On 13 and 14 May 2020, the Supreme Court heard the substantive appeal brought by Mastercard against the Court of Appeal’s decision. Further details regarding the appeal can be viewed on the Supreme Court’s website.
On 11 December 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed Mastercard’s appeal, and remitted Mr Merrick’s application for a collective proceedings order to the Competition Appeal Tribunal. A summary of the Supreme Court’s decision is available here and the judgement is available here.
Mr Merricks’ application for a collective proceedings order having been remitted to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for redetermination, the hearing will take place in 2021. We will post an update on the hearing date once that has been set.