In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, Case No. CV-96-5238, (E.D.N.Y. 2003);The Visa/MasterCard antitrust case, in which the Mr. Keller was class co-counsel and co-trial counsel for five million of the nation’s merchants, was settled in April 2003 for compensatory relief of $3.383 billion and injunctive relief valued by the Court at $25-87 billion over the following decade.
The Court found that this was the largest federal court antitrust settlement in history and the largest civil settlement ever approved by a federal court. The settlement was reached after a jury had been empaneled in the federal district court in Brooklyn, New York. Under the settlement terms, Visa will pay $2.025 billion to the merchants and MasterCard will pay $1.025 billion.
Each association also significantly lowered the charges for debit transactions on August 1, 2003, which saved merchants more than $1 billion from August 2003 to April 2004 alone. On January 1, 2004, merchants in the United States gained the freedom to choose to accept Visa and MasterCard debit products based upon their quality, speed, safety and price. They are no longer forced by the associations’ rules to accept debit cards if they take credit cards.