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US: Mastercard in $1.8bn Amex payment

American Express says it is to accept a payment of about $1.8bn (0.9bn) from Mastercard after it sued the credit card giant and some large US banks.

June 25th, 2008

In 2004 American Express filed a suit saying Mastercard, Visa and their member banks had illegally blocked it from the US bank-issued card business.

American Express had accused Mastercard of conspiring to prevent some banks from issuing its credit cards.

Mastercard agreed to make 12 quarterly payments of $150m to American Express.

Last year, the company reached a settlement with Visa in a similar suit.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement that will enable us to keep our strong balance sheet intact," said Mastercard boss Robert Selander.

He said the deal removed "the uncertainty, time commitment and expense of a prolonged court case".

Mastercard had remained the sole defendant in the lawsuit.

American Express had claimed that an association of credit cards had carried out "anti-competitive practices" that had prevented 20,000 US banks from using Amex credit card products.

It had also accused the card associations of functioning "as a cartel".

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