In complex, multiparty litigation that resulted in the largest private damages recovery in United States antitrust history, certain to bring changes to the rules governing credit card transactions, Pullman & Comley attorneys successfully represented three of the nearly thirty banks named as defendants in a group of antitrust class and single-plaintiff actions that were settled for more than $7 billion.
The lawsuits were filed in 2005 and 2006 on behalf of seven million merchants who claimed that Mastercard and Visa had colluded with banks to eliminate competition and increase the “interchange fees” charged to merchants for their credit card transactions. The chairman of one of our clients, Texas Independent Bancshares (TIB), had served on Visa’s Board of Directors for more than two decades, which led to TIB’s inclusion in the case as a defendant along with much larger institutions. Pullman attorneys also represented People’s Bank and RBS National Bank in the litigation, and were able to obtain their dismissal from the case, with no admission or finding of wrongdoing. In our representation of TIB, we defended depositions, dealt with discovery requests that resulted in the exchange of millions of documents among the parties, and participated in a lengthy mediation process that ultimately led to the historic settlement announced in July 2012, and anticipated to receive final approval from the court later this year