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UPDATE: Settlement checks were mailed on October 27, 2014.

     

Important Dates 

Objection Deadline

Has passed.

Exclusion Deadline

Has passed. 

Claim Filing Deadline

The deadline to file a claim passed on June 5, 2014 and claims are no longer being accepted. 

Final Approval Hearing

July 14, 2014

Mailing of Settlement Checks to
Claimants with valid claims

October, 2014

 

WHAT IS THIS LITIGATION ABOUT?
Certain capitalized terms found on this website are defined in the Settlement Agreement at pages 7-20. The Settlement Agreement can be found in the Court Documents section of this website or by clicking this link.

This is a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of Truck Stops and Retail Fueling Facilities that paid percentage-based transaction fees on Comdata Proprietary Card Transactions between March 1, 2003 and March 17, 2014 brought by Marchbanks Truck Service, Inc. d/b/a Bear Mountain Travel Stop, Gerald F. Krachey d/b/a Krachey’s BP South, Walt Whitman Truck Stop, Inc. and Mahwah Fuel Stop. (the “Class Representatives” or “Plaintiffs”) against (a) Comdata Network, Inc. n/k/a Comdata Inc. (“Comdata”), (b) Ceridian Corporation n/k/a Ceridian LLC (“Ceridian”), (c) Pilot TravelCenters LLC and Pilot Corporation (the “Pilot Defendants”), (d) Travel Centers of America LLC and its wholly owned subsidiaries TA Operating LLC f/k/a TA Operating Corporation d/b/a TravelCenters of America, TravelCenters of America Holding Company LLC f/k/a TravelCenters of America, Inc. and Petro Stopping Centers, L.P. (the “TA Defendants”), and (e) Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. (“Love’s”)(“collectively, the “Defendants”)

 

This lawsuit is 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 or by clicking this link.  

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.


WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE CLASS?
 

You are a Settlement Class Member if you are an owner and operator of a Truck Stop or other Retail Fueling Facility with at least one physical location in the United States that paid Merchant Transaction Fees directly to Comdata on Comdata Proprietary Transactions that were calculated based on a percentage of the face amount between March 1, 2003 and March 17, 2014.  Excluded from the Settlement Class are Mobile Fuelers, Wilco-Hess locations, the Pilot Defendants, the TA Defendants, and Love’s and any of the parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, franchisees or employees of any of the Defendants.  

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT 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. 

In Summary, 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 above and which file valid claims that meet the criteria outlined in the Plan of Administration and Distribution described in Frequently Asked Question 8 "HOW MUCH WILL MY PAYMENT BE?".  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 in Frequently Asked Question 8 and as approved by the Court.  The money in the Settlement Fund will only be distributed if the Court finally approves the settlement. In addition, Comdata has agreed as part of the settlement to provide certain prospective relief as described in detail in Frequently Asked Question 6 Class Members that do not exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.      

Disclaimer

IMPORTANT: THIS SITE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE COURT AND IS ADMINISTERED BY AN ADMINISTRATION FIRM THAT HANDLES ALL ASPECTS OF THE NOTICE. THIS IS THE ONLY AUTHORIZED WEB SITE FOR THIS LITIGATION. PLEASE DO NOT RELY UPON OTHER SITES THAT SET OUT DIFFERENT AND UNAUTHORIZED INFORMATION.

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