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American Express 'take it or leave it' rule goes on trial

Friday, July 4, 2014 - 9:39 AM
From Bloomberg:

American Express Co. drives a hard bargain with businesses that want to attract its affluent cardholders: treat the card like any other form of payment despite higher processing costs if you want those customers.

The lender prohibits businesses that accept American Express cards from offering incentives, such as discounts, to customers who use cards from companies that charge less to process payments, including Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.  Those all-or-nothing rules, long an irritant to business, violate antitrust law, according to the U.S. The government is set to try and lift those restrictions starting July 7, when its lawsuit against American Express goes to trial in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.

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