The US Supreme Court’s Ohio v
American Express decision of June 2018 analysed the economics
of the two-sided market for credit card
Cravath Swaine & Moore represented American Express
in achieving a Supreme Court victory in a lawsuit originally
brought by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and several state
attorneys general. The case challenged provisions in Amex's
merchant agreements that prohibit merchants who accept Amex
cards from discriminating against Amex at the point of sale.
While MasterCard and Visa settled similar claims, Cravath tried
the case for Amex in New York federal court. Although the trial
court ruled adversely, finding that the provisions raised
prices paid by merchants, in 2016 a panel of the Second Circuit
unanimously reversed the decision and directed judgment in
favour of Amex, holding that the relevant market for antitrust
analysis included both merchants and cardholders.
Although the DoJ and several states initially chose...