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ON DEFENSE: American Express, led by Kenneth Chenault, says that elimination of its merchant rules would allow rivals Visa and MasterCard to crush Amex. Chenault may testify later in the trial, which is expected to last into September.

Amex, Justice Department Square Off in High-Stakes Court Battle

A trial that began Monday in a government lawsuit against American Express will determine whether merchants are allowed to offer incentives to consumers to use a particular credit card. The two sides completely disagree on whether Amex's rules ensure or undermine competition.

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