It's official - American Express has announced that "it has reached an agreement to drop Visa as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that MasterCard, Visa and their member banks had illegally blocked American Express from the bank-issued card business in the United States. Under terms of the settlement agreement, Visa will pay a maximum amount of $2.25 billion to American Express. Individual banks named in the lawsuit will also be dropped as defendants. These include: J.P. Morgan Chase, Capital One, U.S. Bancorp, Wells Fargo and Providian. The agreement is subject to the approval of Visa’s member banks."
Separately, Visa Inc. announced the settlement - saying: "The member institutions of Visa USA - and not Visa Inc. - bear the responsibility for funding the settlement through the application of Visa's retrospective responsibility plan. The plan includes a multi-step mechanism to fund financial obligations of Visa USA and Visa International related to certain litigation, including the American Express case. Through this mechanism, any payments made by Visa Inc. as part of this settlement ultimately will be reimbursed by Visa USA member institutions."