American Express announced on December 19 that it has agreed to settle two outstanding class action lawsuits filed by U.S. merchants, the company indicated in a press release.
The lawsuits date back to 2004 and 2006, and were challenges to the company’s card acceptance agreements.
“Unlike Visa and MasterCard, we do not have market power,” Tim Heine, managing counsel for American Express, said in a statement. “We operate a competitive, dynamic business with a unique business model. Resolving these lawsuits will allow us to stay focused on helping merchants build their business and strengthen their customer relationships.”
Under the terms of the agreement, merchants will be able to decide whether to surcharge customers using American Express credit, charge or prepaid cards, provided they are no more than the surcharge issued on competing networks. Further, merchants will be allowed to surcharge charge and credit cards, even if they do not add such fees to prepaid and debit options.
American Express will pay up to $75 million in attorneys fees as a result of the case. To learn more about the terms of the deal, click here.
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