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Houston and Harris County join suit against Visa and MasterCard

Competition amongst businesses is said to be a sign of a healthy marketplace. As such, antitrust laws are in place to help ensure that competition remains healthy. When a company is accused of antitrust violations, the accusers must then prove that the company’s practices have created an air of unfair competition in an attempt to monopolize the market. Often, these sorts of business disputes in Harris County will center on certain restrictive practices that a company employs that don’t allow for other options. If and when other companies recognize this activity, they may file an antitrust claim. 

Houston and Harris County have recently joined 100 other prominent companies in suing the credit card giants Visa and MasterCard. At issue are the interchange fees assessed to merchants when those brands of credit cards are used by their customers. The plaintiffs believe that eliminating those interchange fees would once again allow the credit card companies’ network banks to compete with each other for merchant access, thus allowing those merchant companies to lower retail costs. Currently, those costs are priced higher to cover the millions that the plaintiff companies claim that they’re paying Visa and MasterCard every year for the right to use their cards.

Antitrust violations and other business litigation areas are complex and can be very difficult to comprehend. A good working knowledge of business and commerce laws along with a familiarity with state and federal oversight agencies may be needed if one hopes to successfully settle a large-scale business dispute. In such cases, one may want to partner with a business law firm that can provide the knowledge and experience necessary for a favorable outcome. 

Source: Dallas Morning News “Dallas-area businesses sue Visa and MasterCard, alleging antitrust violations” Jeff Bounds, August 14, 2013

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