AmEx Files Antitrust Suit Against VisaAnd MasterCard

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NEW YORK - (11/16/04) -- American Express Co. filed suitMonday against Visa and MasterCard charging the two credit cardgiants violated federal antitrust statutes with their exclusionarypractices preventing issuers of the two brands from issuingcompeting brands. The AmEx suit names the two card associations andeight large banks that had representatives on the boards of the twoassociations: JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, USBancorp, Household Bank, Wells Fargo, Providian National Bank andUSAA Federal Savings Bank. The suit follows last month's SupremeCourt decision refusing to review a lower court ruling finding theVisa and MasterCard polices illegal. Immediately following the HighCourt action, Discover Financial filed an antitrust suit againstthe two card associations asking for more than $1 billion indamages.

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