Following the European Commission decision in December 2007, which decided that interchange fees charged by MasterCard were anti-competitive, an individual, Walter Merricks, sought approval from The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) to act as the class representative to bring a £14 bn collective action against MasterCard on behalf of 45 million customers who purchased goods or services from businesses which accepted payment by MasterCard between May 1992 and June 2008. The action was brought pursuant to the “opt-out” collective class action regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
The CAT decided in July 2017 not to approve the action. The CAT’s decision was primarily based on its finding that the damages model proposed was theoretical and not compensatory in nature. Mr Merricks has filed an appeal against the Tribunal’s decision, arguing that any deficiency in the compensation model can be overcome and that the case is suitable for the collective action regime. The date for the appeal has not published so far, but its outcome will be eagerly awaited.