|By Marketwired .||
|March 28, 2014 09:00 AM EDT||
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/28/14 -- On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted class action status to an action commenced by Mary Watson in British Columbia challenging the fees paid by merchants on credit card transactions. At issue in the proceedings are approximately $5 billion in fees paid by merchants annually to accept Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions.
Parallel proceedings have been commenced in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta, but were being held in abeyance pending the decision in British Columbia.
The lawyers for Ms. Watson, Branch MacMaster LLP and Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman anticipate that the BC decision will provide a powerful precedent for the certification of the other class actions.
"The claims advanced in the other jurisdictions are very similar and were designed to collectively capture the claims of all Canadian merchants" says Reidar Mogerman of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman.
"We hope that this positive decision will result in the Canadian banks, Visa and Mastercard responding to merchants' concerns about how high these fees are set. Changes have already occurred in many other countries to address this problem, and we believe it is time for Canada's banks to respond as well."
A settlement has already been negotiated with Bank of America, which settlement will now go forward to the BC court for approval.