Wednesday
Jan202016

Update January 18, 2016

The settlement agreements with Citigroup, Capital One and Bank of America were approved by the Courts in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. For copies of the settlement approval orders, visit https://www.creditcardsettlements.ca/.

As the lawsuits will continue as against the other defendants, the amounts paid under the settlement agreements after deduction of all court approved expenses will be held in trust for Settlement Class Members pending receipt of further settlements or awards that may justify a distribution effort, or conclusion of the actions. At such time, a distribution protocol will be created and submitted to the Courts for approval, and further notice will be provided to Settlement Class Members.

Although it is not necessary to “register” to participate in this class action, if you would like to receive direct notification of any future developments and notices approved by the Court, please contact Chelsea Hermanson of Branch MacMaster LLP at chermanson@branmac.com.

Wednesday
Sep022015

UPDATE September 2, 2015

The plaintiffs have reached additional settlements with Citigroup and Capital One defendants. On August 20, 2015, the BC Court certified the BC Action against Citigroup and Capital One for settlement purposes only. The action was previously certified against Bank of America for settlement purposes only.

The settlements must be approved by the courts in order to become effective.

The settlement approval hearings will be held:

  • in Vancouver on November 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (British Columbia Supreme Court)         
  • in Edmonton on November 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Alberta Court of Queen's Bench)
  • in Regina on November 12, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench)
  • in Toronto on November 19, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)
  • in Montreal on November 23, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. (Quebec Superior Court)

A copy of the Notice to class members regarding certification, settlement approval and how to opt-out of the class action can be found by clicking <here>.

For more information and to access court documents, visit https://www.creditcardsettlements.ca/

Pour de plus amples information en Français, vous pouvez click <ici>

Court of Appeal Reasons

On August 19, 2015 the BC Court of Appeal issued reasons for judgment in relation to the appeals of the certification against all parties. A copy can be found by clicking <here>. The Court of Appeal upheld most of the BC Supreme Court’s decision to certify the BC Action as a class proceeding against all defendants, except Desjardins. Certification against Desjardins will be reconsidered by the BC Supreme Court.

Tuesday
Jul082014

UPDATE - June 30, 2014

This class action was certified on March 27, 2014. To see a copy of the Order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, click here. Formal notice of certification is not being issued at this time, as the Court’s decision to certify the lawsuit is currently under appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. As a result of the appeal, no steps are required to be taken by class members at this time. Although it is not necessary to “register” to participate in this class action, if you would like to receive direct notification of any future developments and notices approved by the Court, please contact Chelsea Hermanson of Branch MacMaster LLP at chermanson@branmac.com.

Thursday
Jun052014

UPDATE - March 27, 2014

Certification of BC Action

On March 27, 2014, Chief Justice Bauman of the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued reasons for judgment certifying the proceedings commenced in British Columbia as a class proceeding. This means that the BC Action is now officially a “class action” and is brought on behalf of all members of the “Class”.

The Class includes all British Columbia merchants who accepted payments by way of Visa or Mastercard credit cards beginning March 28, 2005 continuing through to the present. All merchants in British Columbia who fit this definition are automatically included as class members and will be bound by the outcome of this litigation, unless they choose to exclude themselves (opt out) within a specified period of time in the future. More information on opting out of the class will be posted on this website at a later date.

Although it is not necessary to “register” to participate in this class action, if you would like to receive direct notification of any future developments and notices approved by the Court, please contact Chelsea Hermanson of Branch MacMaster LLP at chermanson@branmac.com.

Tuesday
Jul232013

Competition Tribunal Decision

The Tribunal Proceedings

On December 15, 2010, the Commissioner of Competition commenced proceedings against Visa Canada Corporation (“Visa”) and MasterCard International Corporation (“MasterCard”) in the Competition Tribunal challenging certain rules (the "Merchant Restraints") which increase the costs to merchants for accepting payment by Visa and MasterCard credit cards ("Card Acceptance Fees").

The Tribunal dismissed the application filed by the Commissioner of Competition because it concluded that s. 76 of the Competition Act, which was the sole basis for the Application, required a resale and that the Commissioner had not established that such resale took place in the circumstances of this case.

What about the Credit Card Class Actions?

In addition to the Tribunal Proceedings, proposed class actions have been commenced by a Consortium of law firms in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta on behalf of all Canadian merchants who accept payments by Visa and MasterCard credit cards. The Class Actions also concern the Merchant Restraints and the Card Acceptance Fees challenged by the Commissioner of Competition, but were brought under different legal principles. The Class Actions primarily allege that each of Visa and MasterCard conspired with their issuing banks and others to impose the Merchant Restraints and fix or increase the prices of Card Acceptance Fees paid by merchants.

Does the Tribunal decision affect the Credit Card Class Actions?

Although the result of the Commissioner's application is disappointing, it (a) is subject to appeal, and (b) does not have any adverse effect on the Credit Card Class Actions.  The Credit Card Class Actions were brought against different parties (unlike the Bureau, the Plaintiffs in the Credit Card Class Actions also named the banks who take the vast majority of the Card Acceptance Fees), under a different provision of the Competition Act and common law principles (unlike the Bureau, the Credit Card Class Actions are not restricted to resale price maintenance).

We are encouraged by the Tribunal's alternate conclusion that the No Surcharge rule has an adverse effect on competition. We look forward to an opportunity to trying our case before the Courts.

We note a certification application was heard before the BC Supreme Court in April 2013, and a decision is under reserve.

We will continue to prosecute the Credit Card Class Actions on behalf of all Canadian merchants to achieve fair compensation and structural changes.