Visa International and MasterCard International face unprecedented legal challenges this year in the form of two major antitrust lawsuits slated to go to trial within six months of each other.

Behind-the-scenes wrangling during the discovery periods of both cases has given glimpses of the defense strategies the credit card powerhouses are developing. The maneuvering also indicates that Visa may be turning to an old friend to supply the intellectual cornerstone of its defense.

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