Priceless : The Case that Brought Down the Visa/MasterCard Bank Cartel Paperback / softback
Lloyd Constantine began his career in legal services, representing impoverished clients in civil rights and constitutional cases.
Decades later, he would make headlines for representing retailers and consumers against a cartel that undermined one of the fundamental tenets of commerce in America: competition.
A man who thrives on competition himself, Constantine now gives us the insider's story on the biggest antitrust lawsuit in history-a case that pitted his small firm against financial-industry giants Visa and MasterCard, along with Clifford-Chance, the largest law firm in the world. Combining the real-life legal drama of A Civil Action with the relentless pace of a John Grisham novel, Constantine delivers the definitive account of a case that made history and will be studied for years to come.
Beginning in the 1980s, when Visa and MasterCard-whose combined market share topped 95 percent-announced the merger of their debit card networks, Priceless traces the fallout of this catastrophic union, from raised eyebrows among attorney generals to the launch of a major class-action lawsuit.
For the five merchants initially represented by Constantine's firm (Wal-Mart, Sears, Circuit City, Safeway, and The Limited), the reality of the situation was clear: millions of U.S. businesses were being illegally coerced in a scheme that forced excessive fees on merchants every time a customer used a debit card.
When a $3.4 billion settlement was reached in 2003, the court estimated that the case would save stores and shoppers up to $87 billion in the first decade alone. A suspense-filled story with a vibrant cast of characters-and a smoking-gun document known as "The Shark"-Priceless travels from corporate backrooms to the courtroom to capture one of America's biggest triumphs in the high-stakes world of antitrust litigation.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/09/2012
- Category: Economics
- ISBN: 9781616083755