Interchange fees - Mastercard

Hausfeld’s London team acted for a large group of companies in claims against Mastercard arising from unlawful interchange fees.

The claims related to a 2007 decision by the European Commission concerning Mastercard’s cross-border multilateral interchange fee. The Commission found that Mastercard had engaged in unlawful restrictive business practices in breach of EU competition law. Its unlawful fees affected card payments with Mastercard and Maestro branded debit and consumer credit cards in the European Economic Area and domestic card payments in several European Economic Area states.

Hausfeld, along with Spanish co-counsel Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira, acted for a large group of businesses, spanning across the transport, retail and groceries sectors, in claims for compensation. The claims involve both cross border and domestic transactions in 18 European countries on behalf of over 1,000 operating entities in eight corporate groups.

As well as relying on the Commission decision, the claims included stand-alone elements and also sought to establish liability for umbrella damages in respect of the wider impact on domestic interchange fees. Proceedings were issued in both the High Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal.


The proceedings raised complex legal issues and included various interlocutory challenges, one of which relating to limitation and therefore the scope of Mastercard’s liability was appealed to the Supreme Court in 2018.  Shortly before the appeal hearing was due to take place, the proceedings were resolved on confidential terms.