In the 5-4 opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an American Express policy that prevents retailers from offering customers incentives to pay with less-expensive cards.

The court’s decision is a loss for group, which had brought the challenge to American Express’ policy  prohibiting retailers and other businesses from offering consumers discounts or incentives for using a card from a different issuer.  The court ruled that government antitrust enforcers were unable to meet their burden of proving that the AmEx anti-steering rules harmed consumers.


For retailers, the decision means merchants that accept AmEx cards won’t be able to ask customers to use other cards for purchases.

Following the ruling, the National Retail Federation said the decision “will perpetuate a system that costs merchants and consumers billions of dollars a year.” Read the full article here.