Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. sued Visa International in London Thursday, charging that the card association’s bylaws illegally prevent the Discover card’s owner from issuing cobranded Visa cards in the United Kingdom.

Visa’s bylaws prohibit its competitors from gaining access to Visa’s transaction network. The suit argues that, because Morgan Stanley, the parent of Discover Financial Services, does not have its own card network abroad, it should not be considered a competitor of Visa in Europe.

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