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D.C. District Court Rejects Request for Preliminary Injunction in Mastercard ATM Fee Rule Case

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. rejected an application to preliminarily enjoin Paul, Weiss client Mastercard Incorporated from enforcing its ATM rules.

The application arose from antitrust litigation brought by ATM users, several independent ATM operators and a trade association challenging rules enforced by Mastercard and Visa that limit the ability of ATM operators to impose discriminatory surcharges. The ATM operators and the trade association requested the injunction to prevent what they described as “existential” harm to their industry caused by the challenged rules. 

After hearing oral argument on  the motion, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon denied the application. In a written decision, Judge Leon rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that the challenged rules were the cause of a general decline in the ATM industry, echoing Paul, Weiss’s arguments that the rules had been in place since 1996 but the industry’s decline occurred only recently. Even in the absence of that temporal mismatch, the plaintiffs offered no evidence that sufficiently linked the alleged injury to their industry with the ATM rules. 

The Paul, Weiss team representing Mastercard includes litigation partners Kenneth Gallo and Joseph Simons and counsel Gary Carney and Justin Anderson, who argued the case for Mastercard.

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