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Federal Court Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Western Union

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court in Los Angeles has dismissed a multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit that was filed against Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), last November.

The lawsuit, filed by Raul Garcia on behalf of all persons who have used Western Union's money transfer service to transfer money from California to a foreign country, claimed that Western Union charges an undisclosed "commission" or "fee" when it transmits customer's funds to foreign countries. The lawsuit also alleged certain acts of discrimination.

United States District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, in a 33-page opinion, dismissed the lawsuit and rejected the claims of discrimination, stating that the Plaintiffs did not "allege facts which give rise to the inference that anyone was intentionally discriminated against because of their race or national origin." Judge Lew also rejected claims that Western Union's practices violated other federal statutes. Because the Plaintiffs had no basis to maintain their lawsuit in federal court, Judge Lew dismissed Plaintiff's state law claims as well.

Doug McNary, President of Western Union Financial Services, Inc., expressed his satisfaction with Judge Lew's recent decision. "The court's dismissal of the lawsuit is a vindication of our firm belief that Western Union's business practices are completely proper and beyond reproach. Since this lawsuit was filed, we have indicated that we would respond to the Plaintiff's allegations through the judicial process. Meanwhile, we have and will continue to provide the financial services millions of our customers have repeatedly used and trusted for over 125 years."

Western Union Financial Services, Inc. is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through more than 45,000 agent locations in 154 countries worldwide. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871.

Western Union is a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC). Founded in 1992, Hackensack, NJ-based First Data is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money.

SOURCE First Data Corporation
 -0- 08/12/98
 /CONTACT: Peter Ziverts, 303-488-8017, or Antonette DeLauro, 303-889-6553, both of First Data Corporation/

CO: First Data Corporation; Western Union Financial Services, Inc. ST: Colorado IN: FIN SU: LAW HSP

MR-SR -- LAW069 -- 6598 08/12/98 14:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1998
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