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Britain's Asda and Morrisons settle London lawsuit against Mastercard

LONDON (Reuters) -British supermarket chains Asda and Morrisons have settled a multi-million pound lawsuit against Mastercard over fees charged to retailers.

The two companies reached an agreement with the global payments processor and withdrew their cases on Tuesday, according to an order published by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The terms of the settlement are confidential.

"We're pleased to have settled and will continue to work with Asda and Morrisons on convenient, safe and secure electronic payments in their stores," a spokesperson for Mastercard said in a statement.

A Morrisons spokesperson said in a statement: "We have settled our claim and are no longer in dispute with Mastercard." Asda declined to comment.

The lawsuits were two of several cases brought against Mastercard in relation to so-called multilateral interchange fees (MIFs), which retailers pay credit card companies when consumers use a card to shop.

In 2020, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled the MIFs charged by Mastercard and its rival Visa were an unlawful restriction of competition.

A five-week trial to determine how much compensation Mastercard should pay to Asda and Morrisons was due to begin on Jan. 30, but will now not take place.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Paul Sandle)