On 18 August 2021 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) approved the first application for a collective proceedings order (CPO) under the UK’s competition class action regime introduced in 2015, in Merricks v MasterCard. The application was initially turned down by the CAT in 2017 but was remitted to it following a series of appeals, to be reconsidered against the principles set out by the Supreme Court in its ruling of 11 December 2020 (see our briefing here).
It has taken several years for the competition class action regime to get off the ground, but there are now a further 12 CPO applications before the CAT, several of which were recently heard and are awaiting certification decisions over the coming months.
In a win for MasterCard the CAT however refused Merricks permission to amend the claim form in order to include deceased persons in the class, which would have increased the class size from approximately 42.6 million consumers to approximately 59.8 million. The CAT also refused to allow the recovery of compound interest that was included in the claim from the outset, on an aggregate basis, and would have more than doubled the estimated quantum of the principal claim (from an estimated £7.2 billion to £16 billion).
The CAT’s determination of these further issues shows that, despite the more permissive approach to certification taken by the Supreme Court, the CAT will continue to carefully consider and scrutinise all issues in CPO applications in its certification process.
For more information see this post on our Competition Notes blog.