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Visa, Mastercard Settlement Includes $6.05 Billion in Cash Payments for Alleged Past Damages -Merchant Attorneys

By Andrew R. Johnson Merchants reached a $7.25 billion settlement with Visa Inc. (V), MasterCard Inc. (MA) and several large banks in long-standing antitrust lawsuits brought by hundreds of merchants over credit-card processing fees. The settlement will include more than $6 billion in cash payments from the defendants, as well as a temporary reduction in the fees merchants pay on each card swipe worth an estimated $1.2 billion, according to Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, one of the law firms representing merchants in the case. The deal potentially puts to rest a lengthy legal battle that has raged on for seven years and been an overhang on Visa's and MasterCard's shares. The litigation predates the initial public offerings of both companies. Visa's shares were up 1.7% at $126.18 and MasterCard's shares were up 1.4% at $435.38 after hours on Friday. Analysts for months have predicted the companies would reach a settlement before a September trial date. Discussions between the card networks and plaintiffs, which include grocery-store chains Kroger Co. (KR) and Safeway Inc. (SWY) and numerous small businesses, have occurred over the last year. The litigation in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn includes more than 50 consolidated lawsuits that date as far back as 2005. In them, merchants argue that Visa, MasterCard and the banks that issue their cards conspire to set fees, known as interchange, that retailers pay each time a customer pays with a card. Those fees, long a thorn in the side of merchants, are set by Visa and MasterCard but collected by banks like Bank of America Corp. (BAC), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) as revenue. -Write to Andrew R. Johnson at andrew.r.johnson@dowjones.com

Stock News for Wells Fargo (WFC)
DateTimeHeadline
09/29/201603:02:00Wells Fargo's CEO Faces More Heat -- WSJ
09/29/201603:02:00Complaints Go Past Wells Fargo -- WSJ
09/28/201619:01:00Wells Fargo CEO's Isn't Out of Danger Despite Pay Clawback...
09/28/201617:20:00California Treasurer to Suspend Some Business With Wells Fargo...
09/28/201617:03:00Wells Fargo's Clawback: Politicians, Pay Experts Dig In
09/28/201616:54:05Current Report Filing (8-k)
09/28/201615:42:00Yellen Pressed to Scrutinize Big Banks in Wake of Wells Fargo...
09/28/201615:36:00California Treasurer to Suspend Some Business With Wells Fargo
09/28/201613:39:00Wells Fargo CEO Still Faces Risks, Despite $41 Million Clawback...
09/28/201613:30:00Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Still Faces Risks, Following $41...
09/28/201613:11:00Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Still Faces Risks, Following $41...
09/28/201610:35:22Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
09/28/201609:49:00U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
09/28/201608:40:00Wells Fargo Isn't the Only Bank That Draws Cross-Selling Complaints
09/28/201606:59:00Wells Fargo Isn't the Only Bank That Draws Cross-Selling Complaints
09/28/201606:15:05Current Report Filing (8-k)
09/28/201603:02:00Wells Claws Back CEO Pay -- WSJ
09/27/201620:04:00Wells Fargo Claws Back Millions From CEO After Scandal
09/27/201618:57:00Independent Directors of Wells Fargo Conducting Investigation...
09/27/201618:01:00Bernstein Liebhard LLP Announces That A Suit Has Been Filed Against...

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