Credit card companies go to trial over arbitration agreement

Customers claim arbitration is not “fair venue”

The arbitration issue is rearing its head again, this time against credit card issuers American Express Co., Discover Financial Services and Citigroup Inc. A trial began on Monday before U.S. District Judge William Pauley, in which the three companies will defend themselves against two antitrust lawsuits filed by cardholders.

The suits allege that the companies were in cahoots, forcing customers to sign arbitration agreements and keeping them from filing class action lawsuits. The cardholders are not seeking damages, but are asking the judge to remove the arbitration clauses from their agreements.

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