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Digital Business Lawyer

What the AmEx case means for tech juggernauts

On 25 June 2018, the US Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit Court of Appealís ruling that American Expressís anti-steering provisions in contracts with merchants did not violate antitrust law because, when evaluating two-sided platforms with strong network effects, both sides of the market must be taken into account. Thus, the Supreme Court determined that, even though there was an anti-competitive effect on merchants in the form of increased fees, when weighed against the credit card companyís strong rewards programme for cardholders, the plaintiffs had not proven their burden. The Supreme Court decision in this case has implications for large tech companies that operate two-sided platforms, as Timothy Cornell, Ashwin van Rooijen, and Abigail Cessna, of Clifford Chance, explain.

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