How Credit Card Fee Antitrust Cases Fare In UK Versus US

Christel Deskins

Law360 (September 9, 2020, 5:06 PM EDT) — The U.K. Supreme Court recently ruled against two credit card companies in Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. v. Visa Europe Ltd. and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets v. MasterCard Inc., holding that the companies’ payment schemes had the effect of restricting competition.[1]  For many American antitrust practitioners, […]

Law360 (September 9, 2020, 5:06 PM EDT) — The U.K. Supreme Court recently ruled against two credit card companies in Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. v. Visa Europe Ltd. and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets v. MasterCard Inc., holding that the companies’ payment schemes had the effect of restricting competition.[1] 

For many American antitrust practitioners, this case from across the Atlantic echoes the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ohio v. American Express, which also addressed the potential restraint of trade in the credit card services market.[2]

Both high courts considered how to address two-sided platform markets under the rule of reason — and came to different conclusions.

The U.K. court took a stronger line…

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