American Express under investigation by Justice Department

2008-10-31 23:18:37 (GMT) (Caymanmama.com - Banks & Banking News)

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American Express

Credit card company American Express is being investigated about merchant surcharging and policies

Houston, Texas (CaymanMama.com) — In a breaking news report by the Associated Press, American Express is being put under investigation by the Justice Department and are being required to turn over information about their policies related to merchant surcharging.

According to a regulatory filing on Friday, the New York-based credit card company said it received a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) on Oct. 14 from the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

By law, Justice Department has the right to issue a CID to any individual or company which it believes may have any information about an investigation. However, the receipt of a CID request does not necessarily mean that a formal complaint will follow or be filed.

According to the article, “American Express said it intends to cooperate with the department’s request for documents and other information regarding the company’s policies related to merchant surcharging and its ‘anti-steering’ policies that prohibit merchants from discriminating against the American Express card in favor of other forms of payment.”

In light of the investigation, American Express forecasts a weak operating environment. In a filing with the SEC, the company indicated that it does not expect to meet its financial expectations until the economic crisis improves.

On Thursday, American Express announced it would cut some 7,000 jobs, a number that makes up about 10 percent of its global work force. The lay offs would be done in an effort to cut costs by $1.8 billion in 2009 in order to prepare for a worsening economy.



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