Sky News: Mastercard, Visa to be hit with £7.5 billion class action lawsuit

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Sky News: Mastercard, Visa to be hit with £7.5 billion class action lawsuit
Credit: © Reuters.

By Scott Kanowsky -- Mastercard (NYSE: MA ) and Visa (NYSE: V ) face a series of potential multibillion-pound legal claims as a London-based law firm gears up to file a major class action lawsuit on behalf of British businesses, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

The outlet said that commercial litigation firm Harcus Parker is close to filing what it thinks could be among the largest competition compensation claims in British history.

The filing will argue that the two payments giants charged companies too much for multilateral interchange fees, or the amount companies pay banks to accept purchases made with a credit or debit card. According to Sky News, it will also allege that Mastercard and Visa - and not market forces - imposed the level of these fees on banks as a condition of doing business with them.

A source quoted by Sky News said the size of the legal action could be at a minimum of £7.5 billion (£1 = $1.2089), although the amount may ultimately be double that sum. Harcus Parker declined to comment in the report.

Mastercard and Visa have previously settled similar lawsuits regarding allegations of overcharged interchange fees. The two declined to comment to Sky News.

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