Whether its final outcome has already been sealed or must await a Supreme Court ruling, the appeals court decision in Visa v. Sears (Sears, Roebuck and Co. owned Dean Witter when the suit was filed) will stand as one of the landmarks of credit card law.

Like the legal machinations that led to card-issuing "duality" in the 1970s, the 1978 " Marquette" Supreme Court decision that allowed issuing banks to "export" interest rates from high-rate states, and the 1984 "Nabanco" appellate decision that upheld Visa's right to set interchange fees, the Sears/Dean Witter case helps define the bounds of credit card competition.

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