American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (U.S. Supreme Court)
The Second Circuit refused to enforce the arbitration provision in American Express’s merchants agreements on the ground that the plaintiffs had proven that it would be infeasible to arbitrate their antitrust claims on an individual basis. The Second Circuit held that the fact that the plaintiffs were suing under the federal antitrust laws rather than state law meant that the Supreme Court’s decision in Concepcion— which held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws that require the availability of class procedures in arbitration—is inapplicable. On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, we filed an amicus brief supporting American Express on the merits. The Court agreed with our position, holding that courts may not refuse to enforce arbitration agreements on the ground that the costs of pursuing a federal statutory claim make it unrealistic to bring such a claim on an individual basis in arbitration.