Friday, June 22, 2007

"Visa Reveals Plan to Restructure for IPO" (via AP)

If you thought that the "Risk Factors" that MasterCard® described during its IPO filing was frightening, just wait for Vias's® list of reasons to get worried too. As reported today by AP, "The offering will also help insulate member banks from billions of dollars in potential legal damages from antitrust claims brought by merchants".

Just as with MasterCard, Visa too can try to pawn off its legal liabilities onto others, but its prior alleged antitrust violations and legal obligations do not evaporate by selling shares to the public.

Reuters is reporting that "the filing shows that Visa USA members will assume responsibility for a variety of litigation, including antitrust lawsuits in which merchants are accusing Visa and MasterCard of price-fixing.... Visa intends the IPO to fund expansion and help pay potentially heavy legal bills."

These prior postings help explain why, in our opinion, the transferring of ownership does nothing to dissolve their prior damages.

But, the Alleged Crimes Have Already Been Committed (

Visa's® Planned Restructuring Sounds Like Musical Chairs (commentary:

MasterCard's® Legal Bill Could Be $26 Bln (from report in CardLine)

Largest Planned IPO Since Google has No Safety Net (

MasterCard Inc®. IPO, "The Ultimate Hedge Against Litigation" (

Will "Risk Factors" Doom MasterCard's® IPO? (

"MasterCard's® Legal and Regulatory Risks Threaten ... Its Entire Business Model" (BW)

Banks Set to Bolt From MasterCard Inc.® on May 22 (

[source:, with link to AP]