First Premier Bank, a subprime credit card issuer, has given up a court fight aimed at keeping information about its cards off a comparison-shopping website.
The South Dakota-based bank dropped its lawsuit against CardHub.com's parent company on Friday. The move followed a federal judge's decision to deny First Premier's motion for a preliminary injunction.
CardHub, which argued the lawsuit was designed to muzzle a website that publicized First Premier's high interest rates, claimed vindication Monday.
"Now we can go back to giving consumers all the information they need to intelligently navigate the credit card marketplace,"Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive officer of Evolution Finance, which runs CardHub, said in a news release.
Representatives for First Premier did not immediately return messages seeking comment. In an August interview, a First Premier executive said that the lawsuit was meant to ensure that consumers do not erroneously conclude that the two firms have a business relationship.
CardHub lists terms and conditions of First Premier's cards, including the fact that the First Premier Bank MasterCard credit card carries a one-time fee of $75-$95, a $75 annual fee in the first year, a 36% annual percentage rate and a credit limit of just $300. There's no dispute about the factual accuracy of that information.
During part of the last few years, CardHub has also included "Apply Now" links to the First Premier website. The comparison site removed those links after the lawsuit was filed in April.
The lawsuit raised questions about how much influence card issuers wield over the content of consumer-oriented websites that are often thought to be independent.
Until early 2011, CardHub received an $8.50 commission whenever a visitor to its website clicked through to First Premier's site and signed up for a card. But since that arrangement ended, the companies have been squabbling about what CardHub can say about First Premier on its site.