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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
05/27/201616:44:00Wells Fargo to Present at the Morgan Stanley Financials Conference
05/27/201614:45:07Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/27/201614:05:13Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/27/201613:37:26Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/27/201613:31:57Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/27/201613:29:16Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/27/201611:12:00Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/27/201610:50:25Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/26/201614:26:42Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
05/26/201614:24:53Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
05/26/201614:03:14Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/26/201609:35:26Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/26/201609:22:20Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/26/201606:30:00Wells Fargo Launches yourFirst Mortgageā„ 
05/26/201601:30:00Wells Fargo to Offer Low-Down-Payment Mortgages Without FHA Backing
05/26/201600:30:00Wells Fargo to Offer Low-Down-Payment Mortgages Without FHA Backing
05/25/201619:15:00Wells Fargo Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly & Quarterly Dividends;...
05/25/201614:11:39Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/25/201609:39:26Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/24/201616:50:00Wells Fargo Lowers Profitability Targets

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