John S. Reed, who earlier in his career played a direct management role in Citibank's sprawling credit card business, tried to persuade the Justice Department not to file its antitrust lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa.

Mr. Reed, now co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of Citigroup, met informally with Joel I. Klein, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's antitrust division, during the investigation preceding the suit.

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