American Express has prevailed in its latest round of legal sparring with the Justice Department.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied a request by the DOJ to reconsider an earlier antitrust ruling that went in favor of Amex.

At issue in the case is whether the New York-based credit card company can continue to bar merchants that accept its cards from steering customers to cards with lower fees.

The Justice Department initially prevailed in February 2015, when U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis declared that American Express rules barring merchants from offering incentives to use specific card brands are illegal.

But in September 2016, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit tossed out the lower court's ruling.

The Justice Department could still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. American Express vowed Thursday to continue the fight if the DOJ does seek a review by the nation's highest court.

Amex also said that the contractual provisions with merchants that are at the crux of the case remain in effect.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.