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Constantine Pens A Timely And “Priceless” Tale Of Battling The Financial Giants

Posted  October 1, 2009

Constantine Cannon’s founding partner, Lloyd Constantine, has written a book that answers the timely question of how do you rescue an industry from the greed and anticompetitive conduct of financial giants?  Constantine’s answer was to lead an historic legal battle against Visa and Mastercard that led to those financial giants paying billions of dollars to America’s merchants.

Constantine’s book, Priceless: The Case That Brought Down The Visa/MasterCard Bank Cartel, tells the tale of how Constantine Cannon, at the time a young boutique antitrust law firm, took down the Visa and MasterCard bank cartel in the groundbreaking Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation.  The book hits the bookstores and the web-based booksellers on October 6, 2009.

The Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation began in 1996 when one merchant, The Limited, approached Constantine to challenge Visa and MasterCard’s monopolization of the credit card industry.  Thus began a lawsuit that alleged that Visa and MasterCard had conspired to force merchants to accept Visa and/or MasterCard debit cards or risk losing customers.

Simultaneously, Wal-Mart – America’s largest merchant – attempted to negotiate with Visa and MasterCard to lower excessive transaction fees.  Visa and MasterCard refused to budge.  That’s when Wal-Mart joined The Limited in its fight against the Visa and MasterCard cartel.  Once Wal-Mart was on board, other large merchants signed on, including Sears Roebuck, Circuit City, Payless Shoe Stores and Safeway.  Soon after, three merchant trade associations, National Retail Federation, International Mass Retail Association, and Food Marketing Institute, along with five million stores, joined the litigation, with Constantine at the helm.

Priceless details Constantine’s decade-long battle against Visa and MasterCard to release America’s merchants from their grip.  The battle included two appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, and concluded with settlement negotiations that made America’s merchants big winners.

Priceless not only tells the tale of blood, sweat and glory, but also highlights the failures of government agencies in allowing companies to become “too big to fail,” the innermost secrets of how the credit card industry operates and the effect anticompetitive practices have on consumers.

Constantine Cannon’s founding partner, Lloyd Constantine, has written a book that answers the timely question of how do you rescue an industry from the greed and anticompetitive conduct of financial giants?  Constantine’s answer was to lead an historic legal battle against Visa and MasterCard that led to those financial giants paying billions of dollars to America’s merchants.

Constantine’s book, Priceless: The Case That Brought Down The Visa/MasterCard Bank Cartel,  tells the tale of how Constantine Cannon, at the time a young boutique antitrust law firm, took down the Visa and MasterCard bank cartel in the groundbreaking Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation.  The book hits the bookstores and the web-based booksellers on October 6, 2009.

The Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation began in 1996 when one merchant, The Limited, approached Constantine to challenge Visa and MasterCard’s monopolization of the credit card industry.  Thus began a lawsuit that alleged that Visa and MasterCard had conspired to force merchants to accept Visa and/or MasterCard debit cards or risk losing customers.

Simultaneously, Wal-Mart – America’s largest merchant – attempted to negotiate with Visa and MasterCard to lower excessive transaction fees.  Visa and MasterCard refused to budge.  That’s when Wal-Mart joined The Limited in its fight against the Visa and MasterCard cartel.  Once Wal-Mart was on board, other large merchants signed on, including Sears Roebuck, Circuit City, Payless Shoe Stores and Safeway.  Soon after, three merchant trade associations, National Retail Federation, International Mass Retail Association, and Food Marketing Institute, along with five million stores, joined the litigation, with Constantine at the helm.

Pricelessdetails Constantine’s decade-long battle against Visa and MasterCard to release America’s merchants from their grip.  The battle included two appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, and concluded with settlement negotiations that made America’s merchants big winners.

Pricelessnot only tells the tale of blood, sweat and glory, but also highlights the failures of government agencies in allowing companies to become “too big to fail,” the innermost secrets of how the credit card industry operates, and the effect anticompetitive practices have on consumers.

For more information on Lloyd Constantine, please see his November 2008 interview with the ABA’s Oral History Task Force here.  To view this interview, you may need to download QuickTime7 available for free here.

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,

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