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Deadlines Approaching to Submit a Claim, Object or Exclude Yourself from the Settlement in the In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation Settlement

Deadlines Approaching to Submit a Claim, Object or Exclude Yourself from the Settlement in the In re Currency Conversion Fee Ant

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Berger & Montague, P.C. and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP, Co-Lead and Co-Class Counsel for the plaintiffs in the In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation class action suit, announced the following:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK SUMMARY NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

TO: ALL PERSONS AND ENTITIES WHO WERE VISA-, MASTERCARD- AND DINERS CLUB- BRANDED CREDIT AND DEBIT/ATM CARDHOLDERS AND MADE A FOREIGN TRANSACTION BETWEEN FEBRUARY 1, 1996 AND NOVEMBER 8, 2006:

If potential class members (individuals, companies, and agencies) used a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit/ATM card, or a Diners Club credit card (including charge cards) to make a foreign transaction between February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006, they could get a refund from a class action settlement.

The lawsuit (called In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation) claims that Visa, MasterCard, their member banks, and Diners Club conspired to set and hide the price of foreign transactions (including fees, typically 1 - 3 %) in violation of federal and state law, and that Visa and MasterCard inflated their base exchange rates before applying these fees. The Defendants (Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Bank One/First USA, Chase, Citibank, Diners Club, HSBC/Household, MBNA and Washington Mutual/Providian) deny these claims.

The settlement provides $336,000,000 to pay claims, the costs of administering the settlement and notice, and court-awarded attorneys' fees (up to 27.5% of the estimated $313,000,000 expected to remain in the settlement fund after deducting costs for administration and notice, plus interest and expenses) and awards for the class representatives. The Defendants also agreed to maintain certain disclosure-related practices for a period of time. If approved, the settlement will bind class members. If persons and entities are eligible to make a claim and do not opt out, they will release all claims related to any foreign transaction, or the subject matters of the lawsuit, against the Defendants, the member banks, and related entities and individuals. Claims in other cases involving foreign transactions will also be extinguished, but they can still make a claim here, if eligible for a refund. Settlement agreements have also been signed in some of these other cases. These agreements include payment of fees and expenses to attorneys, some of whom have represented the Plaintiff in Schwartz v. Visa (CA). These payments will not reduce the $336,000,000 settlement.

All class members who made a foreign transaction with a Visa, MasterCard, or Diners Club credit or debit/ATM card between February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006 are eligible for a refund. The amount of the refund will depend on which claim form is chosen (only one claim form may be submitted), the amount of total claims, the dollar value of the claim, the bank that issued their card, and the amount of money available to pay claims. Class members might only get a partial refund.

The deadline for submitting a claim form is May 30, 2008. If a class member wishes to object to the settlement, they must do so by filing a written objection and proof of class membership with the court by February 14, 2008. If a class member objects, they must also give notice to the attorneys for the class by hand delivery, overnight mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Class members who are eligible for a refund from the settlement but do not want one, and who want to keep their right to sue for money, must opt out by sending the opt-out form letter (available at: http://www.ccfsettlement.com/, or by calling: 1-800-945-9890) to: P.O. Box 280, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0280. Class members who opt out cannot get money from the settlement. Class members cannot opt out of the part of the settlement involving agreed disclosure-related practices. The deadline for opting out is also February 14, 2008.

The court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement on March 31, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007-1581. If class members plan to go, they are advised to check with the court to confirm the time and date.

Class members are encouraged to visit the settlement website, http://www.ccfsettlement.com/, to obtain information about the settlement and to review a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which contain helpful information about the settlement and how to submit a claim. The website will also note any changes to the deadlines or the court hearing date.

This notice is only a summary. Please do not contact the Court, the Defendants or your bank with questions about this case. For answers to common questions and more information, including the amounts of transaction fees involved, visit: http://www.ccfsettlement.com/. For recorded information, call: 1-800-945-9890.

You may obtain a copy of the claim form online at http://www.ccfsettlement.com/ or by calling 1-800-945-9890. You may file a claim for a refund at the website listed above or by mailing the claim form to the Settlement Administrator at P. O. Box 290, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0290. Agencies and companies should visit the website to obtain details for submitting an Agency/Company claim form (alternatively, they may contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-451-2124). The deadline for claims is May 30, 2008.

Berger & Montague, P.C.

CONTACT: Merrill G. Davidoff, Esq., of Berger & Montague, P.C.,
+1-215-875-3000; or Bonny Sweeney, Esq., of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman &
Robbins, LLP, +1-619-231-1058

Web site: http://www.ccfsettlement.com/

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