American Express Co. and Visa U.S.A., on opposite sides of a federal antitrust battle, are pleading their respective cases on the World Wide Web.

Taking advantage of the directness of the Internet-where it need not deal with news media filters or other intermediaries-American Express said it is posting on its Web site "up-to-the-minute news" and "regular updates" about the federal government's challenge to MasterCard and Visa membership and operating policies.

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