Welcome to the Informational Website for the
American Express Merchant Settlement

Case Update

On November 5, 2015, Judge Garaufis appointed Michael D. Hausfeld Lead Counsel following the August removal of Gary Friedman. Mark Reinhardt and Vincent Esades will be serving on the newly formed Executive Committee. Class counsel has been in contact with American Express and hope to re-start settlement discussions within the next few months.

This website provides information regarding a proposed settlement over allegations that certain rules applicable to individuals and businesses (“merchants”) that accept American Express cards in payment for goods or services violate the antitrust laws resulting in merchants paying excessive fees for accepting American Express cards.

On February 4, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted preliminary approval of a settlement among American Express and all merchants who accept American Express cards settling two class action lawsuits. Class Plaintiffs claim that American Express violated the antitrust laws by imposing rules that limited merchants from steering their customers to other payment methods and that required merchants that want to accept any American Express cards to accept all American Express cards. The Class Plaintiffs claim that these rules insulated American Express from competitive pressure to lower merchant fees and caused an upward spiral in merchant fees for American Express, Visa and MasterCard. American Express denies these claims.

On August 4, 2015, the Court issued an order denying final approval of the settlement and removing co-lead counsel Gary B. Friedman from the case. The denial of the settlement was based on procedural grounds and the Court did not rule on the substantive aspects of the settlement.

Class Counsel
The law firms identified below have been appointed by the Court to represent you and other class members. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

Lead Counsel
Michael Hausfeld
Hausfeld, LLP
1700 K Street, NW
Suite 650
Washington, DC 20006
Executive Committee
Mark Reinhardt
Reinhardt Wendorf & Blanchfield
1250 East First National Bank Building
332 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Vincent Esades
Heins Mills & Olson, PLC
310 Clifton Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

In case of questions, you can contact the case administrator here.

Please do not write or call the judge or any court personnel concerning this lawsuit.