Prior installments in this series addressed the background leading up to the credit card merchant fee class action and the damages provisions in the b(3) opt out class action. This post addresses the injunctive relief provisions that the settlement in In re: Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation styles as a mandatory b(2) non-opt out class action. An upcoming final installment in this series will address the release provisions in the settlement.
B(2) classes are appropriate where the nature of the injunctive relief is such that it will necessarily affect every class member. After setting out the relief proposed in the settlement, I’ll provide some thoughts on whether b(2) is really an appropriate device for this case. Perhaps class action experts out there could weigh in on this issue in the comments.
The injunctive relief set out by the settlement is notable for what is not provided. Nothing in the settlement addresses the core concerns in the complaint about (1) the collective setting of a default interchange fee; (2) the rule prohibiting merchants from rejecting the cards of, surcharging the card transactions of, or otherwise discriminating against some card-issuing banks, but not others; or (3) the rules making it impossible for merchants to route transactions over the least expensive network.