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Credit-Card Class-Action Settlement Notice

Credit-Card Class-Action Settlement Notice

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Published by William Macfadyen
Credit-Card Class-Action Settlement Notice
Credit-Card Class-Action Settlement Notice

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Published by: William Macfadyen on Apr 01, 2013
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08/24/2013

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Q
UESTIONS
?
CALL
1-800-625-6440
OR VISIT WWW
.P
AYMENT
C
ARD
 S
ETTLEMENT
.
COM
 
N
OTICEOF
C
LASS
 A
CTION
S
ETTLEMENT
 A
UTHORIZEDBYTHE
U.S.
D
ISTRICT
C
OURT
,
E
 ASTERN
D
ISTRICTOF
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EW
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ORK
A $6+ billion settlement will provide paymentsand other benefits to merchants that acceptedVisa and MasterCard since 2004.
A federal court directed this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
 
 The Court has preliminarily approved a proposed $6+billion settlement in a class actionlawsuit, called
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount AntitrustLitigation
, MDL No. 1720 (JG)(JO). The lawsuit is about claims that merchants paid excessivefees to accept Visa and MasterCard cards because Visa and MasterCard, individually, andtogether with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws.
 
 The monetary portion of the settlement consists of two funds. The first is a cash fund in theamount of $6.05 billion that will pay valid claims of any person, business or other entity thataccepted Visa or MasterCard branded credit or debit cards in the U.S. between January 1, 2004and November 28, 2012. The second fund is estimated to be up to approximately $1.2 billion intotal and is equivalent to a portion of the interchange fees attributable to merchants that do notexclude themselves from the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class (“Cash Settlement Class”) and thataccepted Visa and MasterCard credit cards during an eight-month period to begin by July 29,2013. This fund will pay valid claims of members of the Cash Settlement Class that acceptedVisa or MasterCard credit cards during the eight-month period.
 
 The settlement will also require Visa and MasterCard to change some rules for merchants whoaccept their cards, including to allow merchants to do the following:
 
Charge customers an extra fee if they pay with Visa or MasterCard credit cards,
 
Offer discounts to customers who pay with payment forms less expensive than Visa orMasterCard credit or debit cards,
 
Accept Visa or MasterCard cards at fewer than all of the merchant’s trade names orbanners, and
 
Form “buying groups” that meet certain criteria to negotiate with Visa and MasterCard.
 
 The rule changes are explained in greater detail below and in the Class Settlement Agreement.
 
 The settlement creates two classes: Cash Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class) andRule Changes Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class).
 
 This Notice has important information for merchants that accept Visa or MasterCard now orthat accepted Visa and MasterCard at any time since January 1, 2004. It explains the settlementin a class action lawsuit. It also explains your rights and options in this case.
 
For the full terms of the settlement, you should look at the Definitive Class SettlementAgreement and its Appendices (the “Class Settlement Agreement”), available atwww.PaymentCardSettlement.com or by calling 1-800-625-6440. In the event of any conflictbetween the terms of this Notice and the Class Settlement Agreement, the terms of the ClassSettlement Agreement shall control.
 
Please check www.PaymentCardSettlement.com for any updates relating to the settlement orthe settlement approval process.
 
Q
UESTIONS
?
CALL
1-800-625-6440
OR VISIT WWW
.P
AYMENT
C
ARD
 S
ETTLEMENT
.
COM
 
2
L
EGAL
R
IGHTS
 A
ND
O
PTIONS
 M
ERCHANTS IN THIS
C
 ASH
S
ETTLEMENT
C
LASS
(R
ULE
23(
B
)(3)
 
S
ETTLEMENT
C
LASS
)
MAY
:
F
ILE A
C
LAIM
 
 This is the only way to get money from the settlement.
E
XCLUDE
Y
OURSELF
 
 This is the only way you can be part of another lawsuit that asks formoney for claims in this case. You will
not
get payment from thissettlement.
O
BJECT
 
If you do not agree with any part of this settlement, you do notagree with the requested award of attorneys’ fees, or both you may:
 
Write to the court to say why, or
 
Ask to speak at the Court hearing about either the fairnessof this settlement or about the requested attorneys’ fees orboth.
D
O
N
OTHING
 
 You will not get money. You give up your rights to sue about theclaims in this case.
D
EADLINES
 
See pages 9-17 for more information about rights and options andall deadlines.
Merchants in the Rule Changes Settlement Class (Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class):
 
 You automatically benefit from the Visa and MasterCard rule changes described below. You donot have to file any forms.
 
 You cannot exclude yourself from the Rules Changes Settlement Class.
 
 You may object to any part of the settlement. The Court has given its preliminary approval to this settlement. The Court has not yet given its finalapproval.
Read this Notice to learn more about the case.
 
Q
UESTIONS
?
CALL
1-800-625-6440
OR VISIT WWW
.P
AYMENT
C
ARD
 S
ETTLEMENT
.
COM
 
3
BASIC INFORMATION .................................................................................................................................... PAGE 4
1. Why did I get this Notice?2. What is this lawsuit about?3. What is an interchange fee?4. Why is this a class action?5. Why is there a settlement?6. Am I part of this settlement?
SETTLEMENT BENEFITS................................................................................................................................ PAGE 6
7. How much money will be provided for in this settlement?8. How do I ask for money from this settlement?9. What do the members of the Rule Changes Settlement Class get?
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM FORM ....................................................................................................................... PAGE 9
10. How do I file a claim?11. Am I giving up anything by filing a claim or not filing a claim?12. How do I opt-out of the Cash Settlement Class of this settlement?13. If I exclude myself from the Cash Settlement Class, can I still get money from this settlement?14. If I do not exclude myself from the Cash Settlement Class, can I sue these Defendants fordamages for past conduct later?
HOW TO DISAGREE WITH THE SETTLEMENT ............................................................................................PAGE 12
15. What if I disagree with the settlement?16. Is objecting the same as being excluded?
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU .......................................................................................................... PAGE 14
17. Who are the lawyers that represent the Classes?18. How much will the lawyers and Class Plaintiffs be paid?19. How do I disagree with the requested attorneys’ fees, expenses or awards to Class Plaintiffs?
THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING ............................................................................................................ PAGE 16
20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?21. Do I have to come to the hearing to get my money?22. What if I want to speak at the hearing?
IF YOU DO NOTHING .................................................................................................................................... PAGE 17
23. What happens if I do nothing?
GETTING MORE INFORMATION .................................................................................................................. PAGE 17
24. How do I get more information?
 
THE FULL TEXT OF THE RELEASES ............................................................................................................ PAGE 18
25. What is the full text of the Release for the Cash Settlement Class?26. What is the full text of the Release for the Rule Changes Settlement Class?
 
WHAT
 
 THIS
 
NOTICE
 
CONTAINS

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