PURCHASE, N.Y. – MasterCard International continues to work through the pile of legal actions which it has faced since it settled its class action suit with Wal-Mart and other retailers. Courts in nine states have tossed out cases that consumers had brought against MasterCard International in the wake of its almost two-year old settlement, according to the number two card brand. The states are New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. MasterCard said it remains hopeful that the remaining class action lawsuits will similarly be dismissed. Those cases, which attempted to piggy-back on the merchant class action suit settled last year, were brought on behalf of consumers claiming to have been injured by MasterCard’s honor all cards policy. The courts found that the plaintiffs did not have a legally recognizable claim, and that they lacked standing to bring these cases. Courts also found that the damages sought were abstract and speculative, MasterCard said. Noah Hanft, MasterCard’s general counsel, stated, “We are pleased that to date, so many courts have reviewed these meritless lawsuits, and have dismissed them outright. Nine courts have already ruled to dismiss these lawsuits as baseless and we look forward to resolving the remaining cases with a similar result.” In a ruling which typified the other court rulings, The Hon. Galen J. Vaa of the Minnesota District Court pointed out that antitrust laws were intended to protect competition. He found that antitrust standing is generally limited to consumers and competitors who claim to have been injured. In the case of the settled merchant lawsuit, the merchants, not individual customers who brought this case, were the “consumers” of Visa and MasterCard debit card services.

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