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SAN FRANCISCO — As part of readying itself for what may be the second largest initial public offering of stock in U.S. history, Visa USA has settled its longstanding litigation with American Express. The leading card brand will not bear the costs of the settlement itself but has instead passed it off to its issuers, including credit unions.

Under the terms of the agreement, American Express would receive $1.12 billion from Visa USA and the banks that were also named in the suit. The money will not come from the new company but from the proceeds of the company’s initial public offering of stock that would otherwise belong to the credit unions and banks that issue Visa cards.

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