American Express Hails Victory for Open Competition and Consumer Choice

Monday 4 October 2004 16:49 CET | News

American Express hails Supreme Courts decision not to hear Visa and MasterCards appeal in the governments antitrust lawsuit against them.

The Supreme Courts decision not to consider an appeal caps six years of legal proceedings that began in 1998, when the U.S. Department of Justice sued Visa and MasterCard for limiting competition in the U.S. credit card market. In October 2001, U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that Visa and MasterCard could no longer bar member banks from issuing cards on rival networks. Over the next few years, Visa and MasterCard tried and failed to have the decision overturned. As a last resort, they unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to argue their case again. While this legal process unfolded, American Express built a network business outside of the United States, where similar attempts by Visa and MasterCard to block competition failed. American Express currently has Global Network Services (GNS) partnerships with 85 banks in 94 countries. As part of these partnerships, banks issue cards to their customers which are accepted and processed on the American Express global network. With more than 350 different card products launched so far, GNS partners have added more than 7.2 million bank-issued cards and more than three million new establishments to the American Express merchant network. In the U.S., American Express and MBNA, one of the worlds largest card issuers, announced plans in January 2004 for MBNA to issue American Express- branded cards to high-spending customers and prospects, pending resolution of the appeal. MBNA plans to introduce its first cards on the American Express network within weeks.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce