Wikileaks To File E.U. Complaint Against Visa And Mastercard

Imagine if, for instance, credit card companies decided not to accept payment for books or music they considered treasonous. Do we support those kind of judgments by these monopolies? It's quite a can of worms: More than six months have

Imagine if, for instance, credit card companies decided not to accept payment for books or music they considered treasonous. Do we support those kind of judgments by these monopolies? It's quite a can of worms:

More than six months have passed since Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and others cut WikiLeaks’ purse strings. And if that blockade lasts six more days, the secret-spilling group plans to take its financial fight to the courtroom.

If Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe haven’t re-opened payment WikiLeaks by next Thursday, the group and its payment provider DataCell plan to file a complaint with the E.U. Commission against the two companies as well as the Danish payment processor Teller, according to Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, the Icelandic lawyer for WikiLeaks and DataCell.

“They’re boycotting Datacell and Wikileaks without any objective justification,” says Sveinsson. “This is clearly an abuse of their market dominance.”

[...] The complaint argues that the three payment firms have violated Articles 101 and 102 of the E.U. Treaty, which deal with competition among businesses and forbid the creation of anti-competitive cartels. Article 101 prevents firms from creating partnerships for the purposes of price fixing, and Article 102 forbids firms in a “dominant position” from abusing that position.

Both Visa and MasterCard have claimed that payments to WikiLeaks and DataCell were suspended because they potentially violate the companies’ terms of service. MasterCard has gone as far explaining that it prohibits “customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal.” Visa has stated that it is investigating “the nature of [WikiLeaks] business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules.”

[...] Teller has already completed an investigation into WikiLeaks’ legality, and in January stated in a report to Visa that it could find no proof that WikiLeaks had broken any laws.

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