DOJ About-Face In High Court AmEx Case Has Attys Puzzled

By Eric Kroh (August 9, 2017, 10:23 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand its Second Circuit loss in a lawsuit against American Express Co. over the company's merchant anti-steering rules, leaving antitrust practitioners searching for an explanation of the government's motives.

The DOJ asked the justices to turn down a petition for certiorari filed in June by 11 states after the federal government decided not to pursue its own appeal of the Second Circuit's September ruling.

The brief, however, was by no means straightforward. Although the DOJ asked the high court to reject the petition, it also said it disagreed with...

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