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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 -- 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...

Payments News Update -- July 24, 2019

Posted  07/24/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: US Reps, Senators Present Faster Payments Legislation PYMNTS – July 24, 2019 To reinforce the Federal Reserve’s authority to create a real-time payments system and mandate that the Fed brings about its own process, two U.S. representatives and two U.S. senators have introduced the Payment Modernization Act of 2019. The legislation was brought forward...

Payments News Update -- July 17, 2019

Posted  07/17/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: How Digital Banks Are Breaking up Latin America's Finance Monopolies OZY – July 11, 2019 Gabriela Franco clutches her phone, frustrated. Her bank in São Paulo is on the other end. She needs to wire money right away to a separate account at her bank. But the representative is telling her she has “to be there — like, physically — at the bank in São Paulo to...

Payments News Update -- June 26, 2019

Posted  06/26/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments SPOTLIGHT: Tariff Pressure Takes Aim at Payment Equipment Once Again  Digital Transactions News – June 20, 2019 While legislators and regulators focused much of their attention on the Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency this week, tariffs on Chinese-made goods re-emerged in Washington as a threat that could raise prices for merchants and merchant acquirers. The...

Payments News Update -- June 12, 2019

Posted  06/12/19
Legal and Regulatory Developments Banks Warn EU Rules Will Scupper a Quarter of Online Payments Financial Times – June 12, 2019 Europe’s big banks have warned that more than a quarter of online payments will be impossible to complete from September because of a lack of preparedness for new EU anti-fraud rules and have “urgently” requested more time to adapt. In a letter seen by the Financial Times,...

Payments News Update -- June 5, 2019

Posted  06/5/19
Industry Developments SPOTLIGHT: Is It Enough? Digital Transactions Magazine – June 1, 2019 For Mastercard and Visa chargeback process changes to make the most impact on friendly fraud, merchants will have to take matters into their own hands. About a year ago, Visa Inc. rolled out a new initiative to update, modernize, and streamline chargeback procedures and the dispute-management process. Later in the...

The First Blockchain Antitrust Case. Or Is It?

Posted  05/29/19
By Kristian Soltes
Legal professionals paying close attention to the still nascent world of blockchains and cyptocurrencies are following what is considered to be the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrencies. For enthusiasts, United American Corp. v. Bitmain, Inc. involves the self-described inventor of bitcoin on one side, the operator of bitcoin.com on the other side, the world’s largest mining pools, and the Bitcoin Cash...
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