Fifty percent of approximately $1.75 million remaining in the settlement fund of In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation will be donated to the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) to support the organization’s education, research and advocacy efforts.
Judge John Gleeson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York made the cy pres award on October 24, specifically finding that “AAI has made significant contributions to the development and enforcement of the antitrust laws and will no doubt make effective use of the funds it receives.”
In the cy pres recommendation which was followed by the Court, Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs, Constantine Cannon LLP stated, “The AAI has been the leading voice in urging more aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws – through private cases, such as In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation or via government enforcement – to increase competition in the interests of consumers and businesses such as the merchant class . . . through its advocacy the AAI attempts to create a substantive and procedural environment to enable more cases like In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, which will benefit businesses such as the merchant class and consumers alike. We can think of no better way to conclude this case than to make this contribution to this worthy cause.”
The remaining cy pres funds will be divided evenly between U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) and Consumers Union of the United States. The settlement fund was administered by Constantine Cannon LLP, the law firm that won the settlement on behalf of more than 4 million merchants.