OHIO V. AMERICAN EXPRESS (MERITS)

Issue: Interchange
Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Term: October 2017
Oral Argument: February 26, 2018
Vote: 5-4
Opinion: Justice Thomas
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Question(s) Presented:
Under the "rule of reason," did the Government's showing that AmEx's anti-steering provisions stifled price competition on the merchant side of the credit-card platform suffice to prove anticompetitive effects and thereby shift to AmEx the burden of establishing any procompetitive benefits from the provisions?

RLC's Position:
The Retail Litigation Center filed an amici brief, which was joined by 5 retailers in their individual capacity, as well as the 5 major merchant trade associations. The RLC brief states that this case is not about small antitrust players seeking special protection from the Court because they cannot compete on their own in the marketplace. The brief also highlights key merchant testimony from the voluminous record to give the Court a vivid picture about the harm Amex’s rules confer.  

Case Outcome:
The Court held that AmEx's antisteering provisions do not violate federal antitrust law. 

Procedural History & Case Documents:

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