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Electronic Payments Practice

Constantine Cannon has unparalleled expertise and worldwide recognition in cases involving the payments industry.  Since the firm’s formation in 1994, we have represented clients concerning virtually every major antitrust development in the payments space.  

This includes litigating every major antitrust case involving Visa, Mastercard and American Express since the 1990s. The firm has represented clients with respect to government investigations, mergers and joint ventures in the industry.  

Our payments industry expertise spans the convergence of fintech and digital commerce and payments.  We are adept at helping large, diverse groups of clients band together in complex cases that require significant time, stamina and legal acumen to plan and win. 

For instance, we serve as counsel for the 7-Eleven Group, the largest of several groups of retailers challenging Visa’s and Mastercard’s Honor All Cards and default interchange rules in a long-running multidistrict litigation.  The 7-Eleven Group includes many of the largest merchants in the United States, including Amazon, Costco, Lowes, Starbucks, Gap, Amtrak, 7-Eleven among many others.

Complex Cases, Major Wins

For millions of retailers, our lawyers secured what was then the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history in In Re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation. The case was brought by Walmart and other large retailers on behalf of a certified class of four million retailers that had been forced to accept Visa/MasterCard signature debit transactions at supra-competitive prices. Our work resulted in a monetary settlement of $3.4 billion (then three times the previous largest award) and injunctive relief estimated by the Court at upwards of $87 billion. 

Constantine Cannon also secured what was then the third largest antitrust settlement for client Discover Financial Services, Inc. Discover had sued Visa and MasterCard for damages regarding Visa’s and Mastercard’s enforcement of rules that precluded their bank members from issuing Discover-branded cards. The case resulted in a settlement of $2.75 billion on the eve of trial.

For a group of more than 60 merchants, including both Walmart and Amazon, we successfully objected to the $7.25 billion settlement of the class claims against Visa and Mastercard regarding their Honor All Cards and default interchange rules, among other practices.  That settlement was vacated by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

Versatile, Nimble, Experienced

Our payments work extends well beyond the trial and appellate courts. Constantine Cannon regularly represents industry participants, including merchants, fintechs and networks, before federal and state antitrust enforcers and regulators. 

We served as lead counsel for the Merchant Payments Coalition, a coalition of the major merchant trade associations, before the Federal Reserve in connection with regulations adopted per the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regarding debit card transactions and debit card interchange fees. And we have remained deeply involved in ongoing advocacy for enforcement of debit regulation before the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission.

Our firm also serves as outside general counsel for the Merchant Advisory Group (the MAG), a payments-focused trade association comprised of more than 150 U.S. merchants and which account for more than $4.8 trillion in annual sales at more than 580,000 locations across the United States and online.

A Leader in Antitrust Issues

Constantine Cannon’s lawyers are thought leaders on issues related to electronic payments. Because of our deep expertise and winning track record, we are routinely asked to speak and write on e-payments developments. Here is a sampling of our articles:

 

Contact us to learn more about our antitrust expertise in electronic payments matters and subscribe to our Payments Blog for news updates and insights.  

 

To keep up with our Antitrust Team, subscribe to our Antitrust Today blog, follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter and listen to our podcast, Antitrust Matters.

 

Payments News Update -- November 21, 2019

Posted  11/21/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Visa Confirms the FTC Is Probing Its Debit Transaction Routing Practices Digital Transactions News – November 18, 2019 Confirming rumors that the Federal Trade Commission is looking into issues involving debit card transaction routing, Visa Inc. late last week reported the Federal Trade Commission has asked it to voluntarily provide information about its routing...

Payments News Update -- August 28, 2019

Posted  08/28/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments As Brexit Nears, Uncertainty Swarms Cross-Border Payments PaymentsSource – August 28, 2019 (subscription required) Processors that rely on cross-border payments to reach new territories are feeling the economic squeeze of the looming Brexit deadline. The problem with Brexit is less about politics and regulation, and more about how these factors will impact processing...

Payments News Update -- August 21, 2019

Posted  08/21/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Visa Critical of India's Move Toward No-Fee Debit Card Transactions Reuters – August 19, 2019 Global card payments group Visa is critical of the Indian government’s decision to boost adoption of electronic payments by requiring banks and card payment networks to offer no-fee debit card transactions, a senior Visa executive said. Last month, India’s Finance...

Payments News Update -- August 14, 2019

Posted  08/14/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: UK's Financial Conduct Authority to Delay PSD2's SCA, FT Reports The Paypers – August 8, 2019 The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is set to delay enforcement of PSD2’s SCA by more than 18 months, after warnings that the rules would threat online sales. Strong customer authentication (SCA) rules, which are due to be introduced in September 14, 2019, require...

Payments News Update -- August 7, 2019

Posted  08/7/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: It’s Official: The Fed Is Jumping Into Real-Time Payments With FedNow Digital Transactions News – August 5, 2019 Ending months of speculation, the Federal Reserve confirmed Monday it will launch a real-time payments service by 2023 or 2024. The banking regulator, which also published Monday a notice in the Federal Register outlining its plan and requesting...

Payments News Update -- July 31, 2019

Posted  07/31/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Visa and Kroger Settle Debit-Routing Lawsuit, but Partial Credit Card Boycott Continues Digital Transactions News – July 31, 2019 The Kroger Co. and Visa Inc. have settled a 2016 federal lawsuit in which Kroger alleged Visa interfered with its transaction-routing plans for EMV debit cards, Digital Transactions News has learned. In a separate dispute, however, the...
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