MAG Webinar: Dept. of Justice Wins Over American Express: The Decision, Next Steps, and Merchant Impact

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
12:00pm - 1:00pm CT

Note: MAG webinars are offered as a free service to MAG members.

For years in the Payments industry, there has been little or no competition among the card brands for acceptance at merchant locations.  That may be about to change.  On February 19, 2014, the Department of Justice prevailed in its trial against American Express.  The case dates back to 2010 when the Department of Justice and 17 state attorneys general brought actions against Visa, MasterCard and American Express for restricting competition through each of their merchant rules.  Visa and MasterCard settled their cases at the onset and removed their anticompetitive rules, but Amex chose to litigate.  We’ll explain the court’s decision and what to expect next in the case.  In addition, we’ll hear about what the American Express decision means for merchants going forward.   You’ll want to hear how this case plays a pivotal role in bringing competition to the merchant acceptance space for payments.  

This webinar is for MAG members only.

Kathy Hanna, Director, Enterprise Payments & Store Support, The Kroger Co.
Kathy joined Kroger in 1982 spending 5 years in the stores and 11 years in accounting.  In 1999 Kathy joined the treasury staff in the corporate office as Manager of Corporate Cash and was named Assistant Treasurer in 2000.  She has a degree in Accounting/Finance from Tennessee Technological University and received a law degree in 1995 from the Nashville School of Law.  In 2004, she completed the Certified Treasury Professional  (CTP) certification and maintains that through today.  Kathy manages the relationships for all aspects of credit card and debit card networks/ payments and acquirer. She has responsibility for corporate strategy of payment acceptance, budgets related to debit and credit card payments, consultant to division controllers/operations on cash management, financial analysis of division/corporate programs relating to all forms of tender.  In 2008 Kathy was promoted to her current job adding duties that included oversight of store front-end accounting and financial services.  She served as chairman of FMI’s Electronic Payments Committee from 2006-2008, serves on various card industry boards and committees.  In 2012 she was named as one of the Top Women in Grocery, executive group.

Richard A. Arnold, Attorney, Kenny Nachwalter
Richard Alan Arnold is a nationally recognized trial lawyer specializing in complex litigation.  He has tried antitrust cases for plaintiffs and defendants.  During his more than 30 years of concentration on these cases, his practice has emphasized individual plaintiff cases rather than class action or mass action representation.  He has represented public companies, entrepreneurial individuals, and privately-held companies in plaintiff's antitrust cases in a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, vitamins, telecommunications, consumable commodities, banking, automotive, health care, and airlines. Since 2005, Mr. Arnold has represented a number of major retailers in litigation against Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Members may view the webinar presentation on the Member Resources page

As a follow up from the webinar, Richard Arnold, has provided the following:

  • For the antitrust lawsuits that retailers have brought against Amex, those cases have all been consolidated as: In re American Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 11-md-2221 (E.D.N.Y.).


  • Richard also mentioned the lawsuits in which the California and New York credit card surcharging statutes were declared unconstitutional.


  • The opinion in the California case is docket number 42 in Italian Colors Restaurant, et al. v. Harris, Case No. 2:14-cv-00604-MCE-DAD (E.D. Cal.) (Mar. 26, 2015).


  • The opinion in the New York case is docket number 63 in Expressions Hair Design, et al. v. Schneiderman, Case No. 1:13-cv-3775-JSR (S.D.N.Y.) (Oct. 3, 2013).  The official reporter citation is 975 F. Supp. 2d 430.
  • The decision in the earlier litigation against Visa and MasterCard which found that MasterCard could have market power, even though it only had a market share of approximately 26%.  The official cite is In re Payment Card Interchange & Merchant Discount Antitrust Litig., 562 F. Supp. 2d 392 (E.D.N.Y. 2008).