The US Supreme Court [official website] published an order [text, PDF] on Thursday stating that it would no longer hear the appeal in two antitrust suits against Visa, Mastercard and several banks concerning ATM fees. The suit alleges that the defendants, credit card companies and banks, have conspired to keep the ATM charges high, hurting consumer and ensuring that independent ATM operators can not set lower ATM fees. The lawsuit was originally dismissed by the district court on the basis that the plaintiffs, consumers and independent ATM operators, lacked standing to sue. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] reversed the decision [opinion, PDF] and ordered the case to continue in the district court. The defendants appealed the decision to the US Supreme Court, which granted certiorari [JURIST report] and was set to hear the case in December. Thursday’s order specified that the original argument, upon which the grant of certiorari was based, had been substituted for another argument by the defendants. As the basis for the certiorari was now no longer present, the court dismissed the appeal. With the pretrial motion denied, the case will now proceed in the district court.
The size of ATM and overdraft fees have been the subject of several lawsuits in later years. In June the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] rejected a class action settlement [JURIST report] in a lawsuit against Visa, Mastercard and several banks, also alleging conspiracy regarding ATM fees. In 2012 a similar lawsuit against several large banks was dismissed [JURIST report] by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website], which concluded that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. Also in 2012, two large settlements in lawsuits against banks alleging they charged excessive overdraft fees, were approved by the courts. US Bancorp, one of the largest bank in the US agreed to settle [JURIST report] a lawsuit concerning overdraft fees for $55 million. And a similar settlement [JURIST report] worth $110 million was agreed to by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a similar lawsuit.