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B&Q and Argos among retailers to lose fight against MasterCard charges

Published: 1 February 2017 - Jenny Wonnacott

A group of retailers including B&Q, Argos, Next, Debenhams, House of Fraser and the Arcadia Group, recently lost a major court case against MasterCard regarding the fees they were charged for processing card payments.

The retailers took issue with the charges made whenever customers used a MasterCard in their stores
The retailers took issue with the charges made whenever customers used a MasterCard in their stores

According to Moneywise, the retailers said that around £437m had been paid in interchange fees since 2006 and claimed that these had been anti-competitive. However, Mr Justice Popplewell said that MasterCard's historic rates were necessary for it to function and found against the retailers, saying the rates were not a restriction of competition.

Stewarts Law, who acted on behalf of the retailers, said that the ruling was “surprising,” and said it would review the findings before deciding on an appeal.

A statement issued by MasterCard said, “MasterCard views this decision as a confirmation of the legitimacy and importance of interchange in our payment system and a recognition that its value based interchange rates were lawful and compliant with competition law.”

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