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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
06/30/201517:01:14Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/29/201517:07:37Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/29/201510:53:19Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/26/201518:20:00Wells Fargo Advantage Closed-End Funds Declare Monthly Dividends
06/26/201516:15:43Automatic Shelf Registration Statement of Securities of Well-known...
06/26/201510:55:04Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/25/201518:40:00Wells Fargo Redesigns CEO Portal Services for Multiple Devices
06/25/201514:09:00Artspace El Paso Lofts Break Ground with Support from FHLB Dallas...
06/25/201513:45:00Wells Fargo HomeLIFT Program to Help Bakersfield Homebuyers
06/25/201511:05:00Wells Fargo Donates $100,000 to Support Victims, Families and...
06/24/201517:06:49Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/23/201511:27:23Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)
06/23/201510:00:00Wells Fargo Expands Lending to Manufactured Home Communities
06/23/201507:30:00Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey: Majority of Investors Continue to...
06/22/201520:03:03What Is a Benchmark?
06/22/201517:07:23Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/21/201516:05:00U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wells Fargo Announce 2015 CommunityWINS...
06/20/201513:03:0210 Biggest Banks in America
06/19/201516:06:00Portfolio Manager Change for Wells Fargo Advantage Multi-Sector...
06/19/201510:40:10Prospectus Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2) (424b2)

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