Mastercard has won a ruling in a legal battle over card interchange fees brought by a group of retailers including Morrisons and Asda.
The card and payment provider won the High Court case against a consortium of ten retailers including New Look, B&Q, Iceland and Argos in relation to cross-border fees charged to retailers on purchases made through debit and credit cards.
The retailers in question, represented by legal firm Stewart Law, claimed that Mastercard’s interchange fees were anti-competitive and infringed UK and EU law.
However, High Court judge Mr Justice Popplewell ruled in favour of Mastercard, finding that the historic interchange fee rates charged by the card provider were necessary for the business to continue to function profitably and were within the limits of what it could have lawfully charged.
This ruling, which was made in January, follows Mastercard losing a case regarding the same interchange fees to Sainsbury’s in July last year.
As a result of that ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the card provider was ordered to pay the grocer £68.5m in damages.
Both Mastercard and the retailers represented by Stewart Law are appealing the rulings made in the respective High Court and Competition Appeal Tribunal cases.
As of 2015, interchange fees across Europe were capped at 0.2% for debit cards and 0.3% for credit cards.