(CN) – MasterCard will pay its rival American Express $1.8 billion to settle a 2004 antitrust lawsuit. Visa paid more than $2.1 billion to American Express late last year to settle similar claims before Visa’s public offering in March. MasterCard was under pressure to settle also, as the pending lawsuit was felt to be affecting its stock price.
The giant settlements came three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Visa and MasterCard had violated antitrust laws by barring their member banks from offering credit cars that could be used by competitors’ networks.
Discover Financial demands $6 billion from American Express and Visa, in similar court filings that were unsealed this month.