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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
06/24/201619:01:00Wells Fargo Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly Dividends
06/24/201618:10:00Bank Shares Plummet Around the World, but Europe Fares Worst
06/23/201617:10:00Fed Stress Tests: All Big Banks Clear Bar for Capital Requirements
06/23/201617:00:00Wells Fargo Exceeds Fed Minimum Capital Level Under Stress Scenario
06/23/201616:52:00Wells Fargo Releases Stress Test Results Under Dodd-Frank Act
06/22/201615:01:38Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/22/201611:24:10Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201614:21:27Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201614:06:12Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201612:51:30Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201612:04:09Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201611:07:59Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/21/201610:54:56Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/17/201616:48:00Correction to Mortgage Refinancings article
06/17/201608:00:00Wells Fargo Payment Manager® Helps Businesses Digitize Payments
06/16/201617:11:10Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/16/201612:04:00Wells Fargo To Be Exclusive Sponsor Of Women Presidents' Organization...
06/16/201608:08:00Corporate Social Responsibility Related News Releases and Story...
06/15/201615:49:00Wells Fargo and Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. Team...
06/15/201614:25:00Wells Fargo Commits $5 Million to Boost Seattle-King County Homeownership

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