Lawsuit against AmEx can proceed

The antitrust suit was brought by the DOJ and several states in 2010, charging American Express (AXP +1.8%) with setting rules preventing merchants from offering discounts/incentives to customers using less expensive (to the merchants) forms of payment.

In requesting dismissal, AmEx argued the government could not prove the card company had significant market power, but the judge ruled the government didn't have to prove this, but instead could show AmEx's conduct had an "adverse effect on competition."

Visa and MasterCard were also sued over this, but settled immediately.

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