DOJ Wins Anti-Competitive Case against AmEx over Merchant Steering Rules

By on February 25, 2015

U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled that American Express Co.’s anti-steering rules were anti-competitive and violated antitrust law by restricting merchants from encouraging consumers from using other credit card brands.
The U.S. Department of Justice also filed complaints against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. for preventing merchants from steering customers toward less expensive credit cards which led to both companies agreeing to modify their policies.

Judge Garaufis urged AmEx and the DOJ to work toward a settlement, but AmEX chose to fight the DOJ at trial.
“Today’s decision is a triumph for fair competition and for American consumers,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “With this achievement, we are sending an unambiguous message that the Department of Justice is prepared to litigate any case, no matter how complex, in its pursuit of justice and protection for the American people.”
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