Today Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) general counsel and Retail Litigation Center (RLC) president Deborah White expressed disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ohio, et al. v. American Express, a case that considered the legality of American Express (Amex) rules that prevent retailers from offering consumers benefits for using credit cards with lower fees. Amex's anticompetitive rules deny consumers accurate information about their credit cards and prevent customers from receiving benefits that retailers might offer in the absence of those rules.
“Today’s decision is a loss for American consumers,” said Deborah White, RILA general counsel and RLC president. “Competition in the credit card space is sorely lacking. The Court’s decision to uphold the Second Circuit’s misguided approach will allow AmEx to continue to stifle competition and prevent consumers from understanding the cost of rising credit card fees.
“Nonetheless, RILA and the RLC are dedicated to increasing competition in the payments market and will continue our efforts to fight the card companies’ anti-competitive rules on multiple fronts.”
RILA and the RLC have long-advocated for transparency and increased competition in the credit card arena. The RLC along with groups representing a variety of retailers, filed an amicus brief in Ohio December of 2017. The groups argued that Amex's restraint of trade caused price distortions that prevented competition, resulting in dramatically raised prices for merchants and consumers, erected barriers to market entry, and stifled innovation and that Amex's conduct distorts the competitive process.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.