American Express drops surcharge ban in settlement with merchants

American Express Co (AXP) has agreed to let merchants charge extra for transactions paid with the company’s credit and charge cards, in a legal settlement that its proponents said could change consumer spending habits. The settlement resolves two class actions filed by merchants that have been pending for several years. In court papers filed on Thursday, lawyers for the merchants wrote that the settlement represents “some of the most consequential relief ever obtained in a private enforcement action under the U.S. antitrust laws.” Businesses have long complained about the rising costs associated with accepting credit and charge cards that help pay for cardholder rewards.


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