The wait is -almost- over! Eighteen years after the case was filed and nearly one year from the day the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in the MasterCard/Visa Interchange Fee Litigation, the Court of Appeals affirmed District Judge Margo Brodie’s approval of the $5.6 billion class action settlement agreed upon by the parties. While many observers believed the settlement would ultimately be affirmed, the panel did so with some unanticipated wrinkles, affirming a majority of the district court’s order, but leaving many of appellants’ questions and issues unanswered.Continue Reading Turning Fees Into Funds: $5.6 Billion Settlement in MasterCard/Visa Interchange Fee Litigation Is Affirmed on Appeal
Monday, February 28, 2022
Bureau of Consumer Protection: Credit Card Debt Fraud
- The FTC has permanently banned a group of alleged scammers from the debt relief industry and has imposed a monetary judgment of $5.3 million. The ban and judgment stem from a settlement related to a lawsuit in which the Commission and the Florida Office of the Attorney General alleged that the defendants tricked seniors and financially distressed consumers into signing up for a debt relief scheme by “bombarding” them with telemarketing calls. Under the alleged scheme, the defendants falsely claimed that consumers could save thousands of dollars in credit card interest, when in reality the defendants did little more than collect upfront fees from consumers. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the stipulated final order based on the settlement.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Consumer Protection: Advertising and Telemarketing
- The FTC finalized a settlement with New York-Based Lifewatch, Inc, an ambulatory cardiac monitoring service, which will result in paying back more than $1.8 million to consumers, including many older Americans. The FTC’s complaint, filed jointly with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, alleged that the defendants bombarded consumers with at least a billion unsolicited robocalls to pitch supposedly “free” medical alert systems. These pre-recorded messages claimed that Lifewatch’s medical alert system was endorsed or recommended by reputable organizations like the American Heart Association. The company’s telemarketers often told consumers that a medical alert system had been purchased for them, and they could receive it “at no cost whatsoever.” Consumers eventually learned that they were responsible for monthly monitoring fees and that it was difficult to cancel without paying a penalty. The defendants are also banned from telemarketing and misrepresenting the terms associated with the sale of any product or service.
Nearly fifteen years after a class of merchants first brought suit against Visa, MasterCard, and their member banks in the MasterCard/Visa Interchange Fee Litigation, retailers can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. For years, the increasingly cashless economy has put pressure on retailers to accept credit cards for payment, but…
Retailers have been paying close attention to recent developments in the MasterCard/Visa Interchange Fee litigation, and for good reason. Every year, consumers increasingly expect and demand that retailers accept credit cards for payment, and for many, interchange fees—or the “swipe fees” retailers must pay to the banks and networks for every transaction—have now become the…