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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 – May 27, 2021

Posted  05/27/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: European Commission Plans to Hit Facebook With Official Antitrust Probe PYMNTS – May 26, 2021 The European Commission (EC) is launching an official investigation into allegations that Facebook engaged in anti-competitive behaviors, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday (May 26). The EC is also doing a deep dive to get a sense of Facebook’s classified...

Payments News Update – May 14, 2021

Posted  05/14/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: A Fed Report on Debit Costs Could Fuel a Movement to Reduce a Decade-Old Fee Cap Digital Transactions News – May 10, 2021 Pressure may be building on the Federal Reserve to take action on a debit card interchange-fee regulation that it has left intact for 10 years despite sweeping changes in the payments business, including an onrush of e-commerce transactions over...

Payments News Update – May 6, 2021

Posted  05/6/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Retail Organizations Sue Fed Over Debit Law Enforcement Retail Dive – April 30, 2021 Two retail associations sued the Federal Reserve Board of Governors April 29 over what they claim is a failure by the federal agency to properly enforce a federal law that caps the fees that can be charged on debit transactions. The North Dakota Retail Association and the North...

Payments News Update – April 29, 2021

Posted  04/29/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Visa, Mastercard Face Biggest Challenges in a Decade Banking Dive – April 22, 2021 Regulatory, legislative and court confrontations over the card networks' fees are ratcheting up pressure again for reform of the behemoths' practices. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin was riled up when he leaned into his microphone to speak last month at an antitrust subcommittee...

Payments News Update – April 16, 2021

Posted  04/16/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Insider's Report On Payments: Interchange in the Crosshairs The Green Sheet – April 12, 2021 The major card brands are on the hot seat. Under pressure from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,Visa and Mastercard postponed for a year interchange rate changes that were slated for April 2021. This followed news that the financial software giant Intuit is suing the two brands in...

Payments News Update – April 1, 2021

Posted  04/1/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Retail Groups Seek to Protect Merchants in Ongoing Swipe Fee Litigation Chain Store Age – March 31, 2021 The nation’s two largest retail trade are objecting to the scope of proposed class-action swipe fee litigation. The Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Retail Federation are asking to intervene in longstanding multidistrict class action...

Payments News Update – March 4, 2021

Posted  03/4/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: UK Launches Antitrust Probe Into Apple CNN Business – March 4, 2021 The United Kingdom's competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Apple (AAPL) after app developers complained that they're being forced to use the company's payment systems and distribute their products via its App Store. The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it will...

Payments News Update – February 18, 2021

Posted  02/18/21
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Feds Probing American Express' Business, Consumer Card Sales Practices The Hill – February 12, 2021 American Express disclosed on Friday that several federal agencies are probing its sales practices for its small business credit cards and consumer cards. The company said in a regulatory filing that it received a grand jury subpoena in January from the U.S....
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