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Frequently Asked Questions

1. WHEN WERE DISTRIBUTION CHECKS MAILED OUT?

The Distribution Checks were mailed out to the eligible Class Members on October 27, 2014.

2. HOW DO I REQUEST A REISSUE OF MY DISTRIBUTION CHECK?

If you would like to have your Distribution Check reissued, you will need to return the check to the Settlement Administrator with a letter explaining why the check needs to be reissued, any documentation to support your request, and to whom it should be reissued.  The Settlement Administrator’s address is: Marchbanks Antitrust Litigation, C/O Rust Consulting, Inc., PO Box 1764, Faribault, MN 55021-1764.  
We will need to verify that the check has not been cashed and we will have the check voided.  Once the check has been verified as uncashed and voided, we will reissue the check.  Check will be reissued every 4 to 6 weeks.

3. IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON WHEN I MUST CASH MY CHECK?

Yes, your check contains a stale date of either 90 days or 30 days (reissues have a 30 days stale date).

4. I HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE CHECK THAT WAS MAILED TO ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you do not receive your check by two weeks of issuance, please call the hotline 1-888-334-6148 or send an email to info@truckstopantitrustsettlement.com. Please allow a minimum of 4-6 weeks for reissue.

5. HOW WAS MY PAYMENT CALCULATED?

The amount of money each eligible Settlement Class Member (who filed a claim) will receive from the Net Settlement Fund depended on the number and dollar amount of the percentage transaction fees you paid Comdata for the processing of Comdata Proprietary Transactions between March 1, 2003 and March 17, 2014, and the rate you paid. Generally, those who processed more Comdata Proprietary Transactions on which they were charged a percentage transaction fee and paid higher rates during the Settlement Class Period will receive a higher recovery relative to those who processed fewer such transactions at lower rates.

The amount of money each Settlement Class Member received also depended on the number of valid Claim Forms submitted by Settlement Class Members, the cost of class administration and notice, money awards to Class Representatives, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court. If less than 100% of the Settlement Class sends in a Claim Form, you could get a larger pro rata share.

To determine each Claimant’s pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund, the Settlement Administrator, with the assistance of an economic expert retained by the Plaintiffs, utilized the transactional data provided by Comdata to calculate each Settlement Class Member’s overcharge, Plaintiffs’ economic expert used a benchmark approach. A benchmark serves as a proxy for the fee that Plaintiffs in the case claim Settlement Class Members allegedly would have paid absent the conduct alleged by Plaintiffs. Here, Plaintiffs’ economic expert used the $1 transaction fee charged by TCH for most of the relevant period to represent the fee Plaintiffs believe Comdata would have charged absent the conduct challenged in the case. The estimated overcharge, then, is the difference between the fees paid by each Claimant on each transaction processed at a percentage fee and the $1 benchmark fee, multiplied by the total number of percentage fee transactions by the Claimant during the Settlement Class Period.

To determine each Settlement Class Member’s estimated pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund, Plaintiffs’ expert has taken each Claimant’s overcharge, computed using the above method, and divided it by the total overcharges of all Settlement Class Members. This yielded the percentage share for each Claimant. The dollar value of each Claim was calculated by multiplying each Settlement Class Member’s percentage share by the total dollars in the Net Settlement Fund.

Further details about how claims were calculated are available by reviewing the Plan of Administration and Distribution on the Court Documents section of this website.
 

6. WHAT WAS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

This lawsuit was about percentage-based transaction fees charged to Truck Stops and other Retail Fueling Facilities on Comdata Proprietary Transactions. The Plaintiffs claim that Defendants violated federal antitrust laws by engaging in conduct that insulated Comdata from competition with respect to its proprietary OTR Fleet Card, thereby allowing Comdata to charge members of the Settlement Class fees above levels that would have been charged in a competitive market. Plaintiffs claim further that Comdata charged Pilot, TA and Love’s lower fees, which afforded them a competitive advantage over members of the Settlement Class, in exchange for the Major Chains’ agreeing not to compete with Comdata or support Comdata’s rivals in the OTR Fleet Card market. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege conduct that included two main facets: 

  • First, Plaintiffs allege that Comdata/Ceridian and the Major Chains entered into anticompetitive agreements whereby the Major Chains agreed not to compete with Comdata by issuing their own OTR Fleet Cards or by supporting Comdata’s rivals and in exchange, Comdata provided the Major Chains with a transaction fee advantage vis à vis members of the Settlement Class. 
  • Second, Plaintiffs allege that Comdata imposed provisions in its contracts with members of the Settlement Class that prevented them from steering fleet business to less-expensive OTR Fleet Cards through discounts or surcharges. Plaintiffs claim that these provisions enabled Comdata to impose artificially inflated Merchant Transaction Fees on the Settlement Class. Comdata did so, Plaintiffs allege, through a fee restructuring that began in 2000-2001, whereby Comdata (1) increased its fees to the members of the Settlement Class from mainly modest flat fees to higher fees (calculated as a percentage of the purchase amount); and (2) maintained the Major Chains’ fees at lower, flat amounts.

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants’ conduct violated the antitrust laws, reduced competition in the OTR Fleet Card market, and allowed Comdata to charge supracompetitive prices to Settlement Class Members for processing transactions using Comdata’s OTR Fleet Card. A redacted copy of the Plaintiffs’ Third Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, filed April 21, 2011 (the “Complaint”), is available in the Court Documents section of this website.

The Defendants deny all of these allegations, including that any Plaintiff or Settlement Class Member is entitled to damages or other relief. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by any of the Defendants. No trial has been held.

THE COURT HAS NOT DECIDED WHETHER THE DEFENDANTS VIOLATED ANY LAWS. THIS NOTICE IS NOT AN EXPRESSION OF ANY OPINION BY THE COURT AS TO THE MERITS OF PLAINTIFFS’ CLAIMS OR THE DEFENSES ASSERTED BY THE DEFENDANTS.

 7. WHAT DID THE SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEFENDANTS PROVIDE?

The terms of the settlement, which is subject to final approval by the Court, are set forth in the written Settlement Agreement dated March 3, 2014. 

Cash Settlement Fund.  Defendants have collectively agreed to pay $130,000,000 (One-Hundred and Thirty Million Dollars) in cash into a Settlement Fund (which will include any interest that accrues).  Truck Stops and Retail Fueling Facilities that do not exclude themselves from the Settlement Class by the deadline described below and which file valid claims that meet the criteria outlined in the Plan of Administration and Distribution.  The money in this fund will also be used to pay the cost of settlement administration and Class Notice, as approved by the Court, monetary service awards for Plaintiffs, as approved by the Court, and attorneys’ fees and expenses, as approved by the Court.  The remainder (the “Net Settlement Fund”) will be divided among Settlement Class Members according to the Plan of Administration and Distribution described below and as approved by the Court. 
Prospective Relief.  The Settlement Agreement also includes a series of legally binding commitments from Comdata to refrain from including and enforcing certain provisions in its merchant services agreements.  These commitments, which will be in place for five (5) years from certain specified trigger dates, are described in detail in the Settlement Agreement, and they include Comdata’s agreement:

  • not to enforce or include any contractual provisions preventing the Major Chains (TA, Pilot and Love’s) from actively steering customers to non-Comdata OTR Fleet Cards, including in-house accounts;  
  • not to enforce or include any contractual provisions preventing Settlement Class Members from actively steering customers to non-Comdata OTR Fleet Cards, including in-house accounts;
  • not to enforce or include any provision in any agreement with Settlement Class Members requiring Settlement Class Members to offer Comdata cardholders the same discount offered to customers using other payment methods.  For instance, Settlement Class Members will not be precluded from offering across-the-board discounts to customers using non-Comdata OTR Fleet Cards that are not offered to Comdata cardholders;
  • not to include or enforce any provision requiring any Major Chain to pay to Comdata transaction fee that is equal to or greater than the highest transaction fee paid by that Major Chain to any other competing OTR Fleet Card company (“Transaction Fee MFN”) in any of its agreements; 
  • not to include a Transaction Fee MFN provision requiring Settlement Class Members to pay to Comdata a transaction fee that is equal to or greater than the highest transaction fee paid by that merchant to any other competing OTR Fleet Card company in any of its agreements; 
  • not to prohibit Settlement Class Members from surcharging the portions of its Comdata proprietary transactions in which the fee is calculated on a percentage basis, under certain conditions set forth in more detail in the Settlement Agreement.  First, a Settlement Class Member may surcharge only if it confirms to Comdata by completing a form that can be obtained by emailing surcharge@comdata.com that, if it accepts TCH, EFS, T-Chek and/or WEX/FleetOne, those OTR Fleet Cards do not prohibit surcharging.  Second, should a Settlement Class Member decide to surcharge, it must impose the surcharge on all fleets carrying the Comdata OTR Fleet Card with the exception of fleets with a valid Custom-Fee Arrangement with Comdata.  Third, the surcharge imposed must be no greater than the difference between the merchant’s Comdata rate and the lower of (a) the merchant’s rate on the next higher OTR Fleet Card or (b) a fixed amount of 1.5%. Fourth, the Settlement Class Member must prominently disclose through signage at the fuel pump certain details about the merchant’s surcharging practices, which are set forth in the Settlement Agreement.  Before a surcharge can be imposed pursuant to the settlement, a Settlement Class Member must install an update on an eligible point-of-sale device, which will be distributed to the merchant’s point-of-sale device supplier by Comdata at Comdata’s expense within 60 days of this Notice.  The update will facilitate transactions in which a surcharge is imposed and allow the merchant to generate a receipt reflecting the surcharge as a separate line item, which must be furnished to the driver at the point-of-sale; and
  • to negotiate in good faith with several Buying Groups—North American Truck Stop Network (“NATSN”), Professional Transportation Partners, LLC (“PTP”), AMBEST, and Roady’s—with regard to reaching a commercially reasonable agreement on the rates and commercial terms for the processing of Comdata OTR Fleet Cards by merchant members of those Buying Groups, subject to certain conditions detailed in the Settlement Agreement.

In exchange for the ability to obtain a cash payment and the above-described Prospective Relief, the Settlement Class releases all claims against the Defendants and certain other related entities (the “Releasees” (as defined in the Settlement Agreement)), arising out of the conduct alleged in the Action through the date this settlement is finally approved by the Court.  Claims arising from conduct occurring after the Final Approval Date are not released by this settlement, except that, for instance,  claims pertaining to the terms of Comdata’s Merchant Services Agreements, either with Settlement Class Members or the Major Chains, as modified by the prospective relief or which are based upon conduct or activity that is expressly required by or consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement are released, as described in detail in the Settlement Agreement.  The Settlement Agreement is available in the Court Documents section of this website.

8. HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
 If you have questions about this case or want to get additional information, you may also call or write to the lawyers (See Contact Information page).  A copy of the Settlement Agreement, including the releases, is on public file with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1797 and can be accessed during normal business hours. It is also available on the Court Documents section of this website.
 
PLEASE DO NOT WRITE OR CALL THE COURT OR THE CLERK’S OFFICE FOR INFORMATION.
 

 

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