The specter of American Express Co. hung heavy over Visa's annual directors meetings this week, but the card association's chief executive officer would just as soon have been dealing with other matters.

It's not that Edmund P. Jensen wanted to avoid the fight that American Express and its chairman, Harvey Golub, have been trying to pick. Mr. Golub in recent weeks has accused Visa of violating antitrust principles, with the apparent aim of forcing Visa to relax a rule that prevents many of its members from issuing cards carrying the American Express logo.

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