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The Boston Globe

Business

Supreme Court backs arbitration

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court reinforced the ability of corporations to impose arbitration on their customers Thursday, ruling that merchants could not bring a class-action suit against American Express, even if the cost of arbitrating individual claims is prohibitive.

Businesses generally regard arbitration as a cheaper and more efficient way to resolve disputes. Consumer advocates say the terms of the agreements let companies escape accountability. But the courts, initially willing to grant broad exceptions, increasingly have sided with the companies.

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