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
    JackSombra (profile), 5 Jul 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Visa and Mastercard process for porn sites. However, they do so with many restrictions, and they do carefully review sites before granting processing. They do not want to be involved in processing for sites that could be illegal (child porn, bestiality, etc), which could create liablity for Visa."
    And porn is the perfect example that highlights what was wrong about Visa/MC's actions.

    Porn is legal in america, not in many others. Yet both process payments for it with no restriction beyond that it complies with US law.

    KKK is banned in many european country's, yet both will process payments for it

    See the problem for many people here is Visa/MC/Paypal only seem to care when it is US law being broken (or when people say it is even if it was not as was the case with Wiki leaks), never anyone else's, even when following US laws would break the laws of other counties

    If they had really wanted to play "fairly" they would have done what they did with gambling. US citizens with cards based in the US and only US citizens blocked.

    Thus no attempt to impose US "law" on the rest of the world.

    Personally i hope MC/Visa/Paypal get royally spanked over this and either one of following things happen

    a) They stop acting like financial weapon for the american government and just become impartial greedy payment processors

    b) If they won't stop then get kicked out of the rest of the world and local alternatives are nurtured and grown

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