WSJ: Lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard by US retailers will proceed

Kara Scannell and John Wilke report in this morning’s Wall St. Journal on yesterday’s decision by Judge John Gleeson in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, NY. A trial in the case is scheduled to begin April 28th.

In a 16-page order, Judge John Gleeson found that “there is evidence, direct and circumstantial, from which a jury could find a conspiracy.” Several points won’t even go before the jury, Judge Gleeson said, finding that “no rational jury could conclude otherwise.”

The most important victory may have been the issue of market definition, which is pivotal to any antitrust case. The judge found that the credit and debit card markets were separate markets. The merchants allege that Visa and MasterCard used their monopoly in credit cards to enter and dominate the debit card market, by forcing retailers to take their higher-priced debit cards as a condition of accepting their credit cards.

The full text of the decision is available online (PDF).

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