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Lloyd Constantine began his career in legal services, representing impoverished clients in civil rights and constitutional cases. Decades later, he would make headlines for representing retailers and consumers against a cartel that undermined one of the fundamental tenets of commerce in America: competition. A man who thrives on competition himself, Constantine now gives us the insider's story on the biggest antitrust lawsuit in history - a case that pitted his small firm against financial-industry giants Visa and MasterCard, along with Clifford-Chance, the largest law firm in the world.
Combining the real-life legal drama of A Civil Action with the relentless pace of a John Grisham novel, Constantine delivers the definitive account of a case that made history and will be studied for years to come. Beginning in the 1980s, when Visa and MasterCard - whose combined market share topped 95 percent - announced the merger of their debit card networks, Priceless traces the fallout of this catastrophic union, from raised eyebrows among attorney generals to the launch of a major class-action lawsuit. For the five merchants initially represented by Constantine's firm (Wal-Mart, Sears, Circuit City, Safeway, and The Limited), the reality of the situation was clear: Millions of U.S. businesses were being illegally coerced in a scheme that forced excessive fees on merchants every time a customer used a debit card. When a $3.4 billion settlement was reached in 2003, the court estimated that the case would save stores and shoppers up to $87 billion in the first decade alone.
A suspense-filled story with a vibrant cast of characters - and a smoking-gun document known as "The Shark" - Priceless travels from corporate backrooms to the courtroom to capture one of America's biggest triumphs in the high-stakes world of antitrust litigation.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Michael on 03-30-13
Great listen – I could not stop
If you like books about how business works then you will like this book! The book details the legal case surrounding Visa / Mastercard and their attempt to extend their dominance in charge card products to the emerging debt card technology / market. I enjoyed the author:
•laying out the background to the case, including his work on other anti-trust cases
•the key anti-trust points, without making it boring
•the legal arguments used in the trial, so that a non-lawyer like myself could understand
•the critical procedures and strategies used to influence the process (as an example the non-verbal cues used by the judges).
•getting the book edited to make it the perfect length
1 of 1 people found this review helpful