WikiLeaks Planning Legal Action Against PayPal, MasterCard & Visa

from the thought-this-would-go-away? dept

There hasn't been much talk lately over the fact that PayPal, MasterCard and Visa all cut off Wikileaks late last year, after the US government freaked out about the release of some State Department Cables. None of the firms has done a very good job explaining why this makes sense (or why they continue to allow other groups, such as the KKK to receive funding, while singling out Wikileaks). I'm sure those three firms, which took quite a public bashing when the news originally dropped, would prefer that there not be any more talk about it. However, Wikileaks and the payment firm they used, DataCell, are apparently planning to file a legal complaint this week against all three firms in Europe. A draft of the complaint, which was obtained by Andy Greenberg at Forbes (linked above and embedded below), claims that the three firms violated Articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty, effectively a form of antitrust law. While I tend to think many antitrust claims are merely attacks on successful companies, this seems like a case where they could make sense. Here you have basically the only three ways for most people to transfer money easily, all agreeing to block a single (small) client from receiving money, despite no legal ruling against the operation (hell, charges haven't even been filed). It certainly would make for an interesting case.

Filed Under: antitrust, collusion, europe, wikileaks
Companies: mastercard, paypal, visa, wikileaks


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  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 5 Jul 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    > for an illegal or questionable site

    Illegal hasn't been determined.

    Questionable is irrelevant and subjective.

    Different people have varying notions of questionable. Should Visa not process payments for The Church of Scientology? Should MasterCard not process payments for a gay and lesbian organization? What about a motorcycle club? Is the KKK an illegal or questionable site? If so, then why is it still okay to process payments to them? What about stores that sell equipment and accessories that support the crime of skateboarding?




    > it is also clear that Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal have
    > significant legal risks in providing payment services as
    > they have significant operations in the US and other
    > countries, where wikeleaks legal status is somewhat in
    > question.

    What legal risks? Have they been presented with a government order not to process payments? If so, then they are in compliance. If not, then what legal risks?



    > This story reads more like Wikeleaks being more than slightly
    > desperate for attention

    I think it only reads that way to you.



    > fewer and fewer people (and the media) are paying attention
    > to their spew anymore.

    They still seem to make national headlines in main stream television media.

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