FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
D.C. Appeals Court Affirms ATM Operators’ Class Certification in Antitrust Case Against Visa and Mastercard
- Decision moves forward class actions brought by independent ATM Operators and two consumer classes challenging anticompetitive network rules.
- Appeals court finds all three classes satisfied the requirement of class action rules that common questions must predominate over individualized issues.
- District Court’s legal analysis was “brief but materially correct,” Court of Appeals writes.
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Washington, DC – July 25, 2023 – An antitrust case brought by a nationwide class of independent (non-bank) ATM Operators can move forward against Visa and Mastercard after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed the August 2021 decision by a district court certifying the class.
The ATM Operators, represented by MoginRubin LLP, a specialty antitrust law firm, claim that Visa and Mastercard network rules violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. “Requiring ATM operators to set the same surcharge for all networks accepted at an ATM is unlawful price fixing,” said Jonathan Rubin of MoginRubin LLP. “The rules serve no purpose except to insulate Visa and Mastercard’s ATM networks from price competition from rival networks.”
Visa or Mastercard’s ATM networks handle more than half of all U.S. ATM transactions and are enabled on virtually all payment cards in circulation and at every ATM. The ATM Operators argue that the rules prevent them from offering lower surcharges to ATM cardholders who use more competitive ATM networks.
In addition to the independent ATM Operator Class, certification of two other classes of cardholders who claim overcharges as a result of the rules were also affirmed on appeal. The appeals court found that all three classes satisfied the requirement of class action rules that common questions must predominate over individualized issues.
“In its analysis, the district court confirmed that each group of plaintiffs cleared those hurdles,” the Court of Appeals found, concluding that “the district court’s legal analysis is brief but materially correct.” The court remanded the case for further proceedings.
“The ATM Operators have been prosecuting this case for the past 12 years. The district court was totally correct to certify the ATM Operator Class and the appellate court agrees,” said Rubin. “The ATM Operators are looking forward to finally moving this case to trial,” he added.
National ATM Council Inc., et al. v. Visa Inc., et al., No. 1:11-CV-01803-RJL, (D.D.C., filed October 12, 2011); No. 21-7109 (D.C. Cir., 2023).