Visa Inc., the world’s largest payment network, will pay $682 million to merchants in the U.S. to complete a settlement reached a few years back. Visa is paying early to get a discount from the $800 million it had owed through 2012. The Plaintiff merchants filed an antitrust class-action suit in 2003 over excessive fees. Visa was to make the payment either on September 30th or the business day after the court order, whichever is later. The agreement to pay early is subject to court approval.
In the 2003 settlement over very large fees paid to Visa and MasterCard, which dominated the payments market, Visa agreed to pay $2 billion over a period of ten years, in equal annual installments of $200 million. MasterCard Inc, the world’s second-largest credit card company, had previously agreed to prepay its obligations at a discount.
As you may recall, a few years back, Visa and MasterCard also agreed to pay almost $4 billion to American Express Co. and $2.75 billion to Discover Financial Services after the credit card networks accused their bigger rivals of harming their business by preventing banks that issued MasterCard and Visa cards from also offering their cards.
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