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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
05/04/201616:05:37Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/04/201613:24:55Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/04/201613:07:02Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/04/201613:02:25Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/04/201612:57:56Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/04/201606:00:00Presidential Candidates Not Addressing Small Business Concerns...
05/03/201617:25:00Wells Fargo 2016 Investor Day
05/03/201612:10:14Free Writing Prospectus - Filing Under Securities Act Rules 163/433...
05/03/201611:59:33Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/03/201611:34:09Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/03/201611:04:58Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/03/201610:50:34Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/03/201610:33:27Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
05/03/201608:30:00Integrated Electrical Services Announces Amendment to the Credit...
04/29/201616:04:00Wells Fargo Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly Dividends
04/29/201615:43:33Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
04/29/201615:24:24Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/29/201613:40:16Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/29/201611:19:12Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
04/28/201616:15:27Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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