Sainsbury’s is set for a £68.5m pay-out from Mastercard following a landmark competition case regarding credit and debit card payments.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal concluded that Mastercard had broken EU and UK competition laws on ‘interchange fees’ that it made on cards used by the grocer’s customers.
Sainsbury’s is seeking combined damages of more than £1.2bn having been required to pay the fees on card transactions under Mastercard’s payment scheme.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s said: “While Sainsbury’s is still considering the judgment, Sainsbury’s is pleased that the tribunal has recognised the harm that MasterCard has caused.”
This is the first court ruling brought against Mastercard by retailers in the UK and Europe in connection with interchange fees, the Financial Times reported, and is one of a number of lawsuits in process against the credit card provider.
Mastercard said: “On first look, we are grateful that the court found that significant benefits flow to both retailers and cardholders from interchange in the UK.
“While we are disappointed to see liability as part of the finding, we note that in awarding a limited portion of the claimed damages, the court concluded that Sainsbury’s did not pass through interchange costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.”