Earlier today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an order denying American Express’s motion for a stay of an injunction requiring AmEx to modify its rules prohibiting merchants from steering customers to other credit cards.
As we previously reported, American Express has appealed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which held in February that AmEx’s anti-steering rules violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act. In April, the district court entered a permanent injunction, requiring AmEx to change its anti-steering rules and allow merchants to steer customers to use other credit cards or other forms of payment.
On May 26, 2015, AmEx filed an emergency motion with the Second Circuit, asking the Court to stay the injunctive relief pending AmEx’s appeal. AmEx argued that it would suffer irreparable harm if a stay were not granted because AmEx would lose volume and market share. AmEx also argued that the public interest favored a stay because the injunctive relief ordered by the district court would weaken competition and harm consumers.
The Second Circuit denied the motion to stay without substantive explanation. In its order, however, the court ordered that this appeal be expedited.