Feds Slap AmEx With Antitrust Suit

Just as Justice settles case against MasterCard, Visa
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2010 1:05 PM CDT
US Attorney General Eric Holder speaks on antitrust issues in the livestock industry at Colorado State University in Fort Collins on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010.   (AP)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department has hit American Express with antitrust charges today, just as it settles similar charges with Visa and MasterCard, reports the Wall Street Journal. The complaint centers around the uneven fees and rules AmEx imposes to "impede merchants from promoting or encouraging the use of a competing credit or charge card with lower acceptance fees."

AmEx said it wouldn't settle the case, with CEO Ken Chenault saying in a statement that, "Whatever the intent, the government's new approach would hand an unfair advantage back to Visa and MasterCard." AG Eric Holder is to give a press conference this afternoon.

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