Ashurst, Jones Day, Lovells win cat appeal

There were celebrations at Ashurst, Jones Day and Lovells on 19 June after the Competion Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld their clients’ appeals on interchange fee arrangements. The CAT set a September 2005 Office of Fair Trading (OFT) decision aside after the OFT had made the unprecedented move of withdrawing its decision anyway. Interchange fees are paid by acquiring banks to issuing banks when a credit card purchase is made. Lovells client MasterCard UK Members Forum (MMF), MasterCard International, represented by Jones Day, and Ashurst client Royal Bank of Scotland will have been relieved by the judgment. It is another victory for Brick Court Chambers’ Nick Green QC, who acted for MMF, instructed by Lovells partner Susan Bright. However, the OFT is continuing its investigations into MasterCard and Visa’s current interchange fee arrangements, meaning the work for competition lawyers is not over.