A prominent economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology testified Monday that the credit card industry is a "textbook model of competition," in which "many firms compete, and none of them is large relative to the market."

Richard L. Schmalensee, who is dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management and a professor of economics and management there, took the stand in U.S. District Court in Manhattan as an expert witness for Visa. He has done a good deal of consulting work for Visa over the last decade - leading prosecutors to suggest he is biased - and recently served as an expert witness in another antitrust case, the Justice Department's lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.

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