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
    G Thompson (profile), 5 Jul 2011 @ 8:52pm

    Re:

    Terms of Service conditions are abolutely voidable if they conflict with Statutory Law. In fact if they did try to change their TOS['s] for this reason it would be more evidence of collusion.

    EU laws are totally different to USA laws. EU laws (like Aust/NZ ones) are more balanced for consumers and individuals.

    VISA, M/C and Paypal in this instance have a lot to worry about since this could turn into a test case for consumer laws in the EU. Also I guarantee this complaint is step one in the legal action that Datacell is initiating.

    The next step could possibly be a class action by the actual affected card holder[s] who have not been able to legally give money to a legal organisation in breach of their contract with the card companies under EU law [and maybe Aust/NZ too]. Watch this space!

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