The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Mastercard against a Court of Appeal ruling that annulled the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) refusal to grant a collective proceedings order in Mastercard Incorporated and others (Appellants) v Walter Hugh Merricks CBE (Respondent)  UKSC 51.
The Respondent’s claim arose out of the European Commission’s decision in December 2007 that Mastercard breached competition law by fixing a default ‘interchange fee’ as part of their payment card schemes between May 1992 and December 2007. The Respondent seeks to represent a class of some 46 million people.
The CAT previously concluded that the claims were not suitable to be brought in collective proceedings and declined to make a collective proceedings order. The Court of Appeal set aside the CAT’s order and remitted the application for a collective proceedings order to the CAT. Mastercard were seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, however this was dismissed on the grounds that it agreed with the Court of Appeal that the CAT’s decision is undermined by error of law.
This appeal is important as it is the first collective proceedings case of this kind to reach the Supreme Court and addresses important questions about the correct legal requirements for certification of a claim.