Lynda Richardson profiles anti-trust lawyer Lloyd Constantine in this morning’s New York Times. Constantine was the lead attorney on the recently settled merchant lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa USA.
He says this recent case will reshape an industry in which the two companies used their dominance in the credit card market to exact excessive fees from merchants when customers used their debit cards. He calls them “the cartel of Visa and MasterCard.”
“We believe people do better when things are free,” he says. “The regime we’re ending is a system where there were no choices.”
He also expects the settlements to cut the fees that merchants usually pay each time they accept Visa- or MasterCard-branded debit cards, saving merchants and consumers as much as $100 billion over the next 10 years.
“To me, that’s 100 times more important than $3 billion,” he says.