The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has dismissed a £14bn class-action lawsuit against the US-based financial services company Mastercard.

The tribunal stated that the case could not go ahead as a class-action suit.  

The case was filed by former financial services ombudsman Walter Merricks. Back in last November, Merricks stated that Mastercard, over a 16 year period between 1992 to 2008, had charged illegal card fees. 

Merricks had earlier said: "To be clear, there is no question that MasterCard acted illegally in the way it conducted its business, a business that affects all of us. All of us overpaid to the tune of up to £19bn during a period lasting 16 years."

Three years ago, a European court stated that Mastercard had indeed broken the EU law by imposing charges on the use of debit and credit cards.

Merricks took the help of law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to draft the lawsuit against Mastercard.

Earlier, Mastercard stated that the case had no legal basis and the claims were inappropriate.

Mastercard was quoted by Sky News as saying: "We welcome the Competition Appeal Tribunal's judgment refusing certification for the proposed collective action.

"As set out in Mastercard's arguments to date, we believe that the claims were completely unsuitable to be brought under the collective actions regime. The tribunal sided with this position.

"We firmly believe that consumers derive real value from our network through the benefits of security, convenience and consumer protection, and we remain committed to investing in our services in order to continue to meet the rapidly evolving needs of all our customers."

Image: UK tribunal blocks class-action case against Mastercard. Photo: Courtesy of JanPietruszka/