WikiLeaks announced on Friday evening that it and service provider Datacell intend to sue Visa and MasterCard in Europe “for engaging in an unlawful, U.S. influenced, financial blockade.”
The two credit card services blocked all payments to WikiLeaks last December, claiming that their “rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal.” They have maintained this claim, even though it is has never been determined that WikiLeaks is guilty of any crime.
According to the WikiLeaks press release, the credit card companies were told on June 9 that if their blockade against payments to WikiLeaks is not removed, suit will be filed against them with the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court and a request for prosecution will also be filed with the European Union.
“It was pointed out to these companies that their coordinated action on December 7th last year to block all credit card transactions to WikiLeaks and DataCell constituted a serious violation of the Competition Rules of the EU (Article 101(1) and 102),” the release states. “Furthermore, that the actions of these companies have violated Danish merchant laws when they terminated the payment services and by refused [sic] to reinstate them.”
“Visa and Master Card (which have 70 and 25 percent market share in Europe respectively) have not answered the demands or shown willingness to negotiate a settlement,” the release concludes. “In light of this outcome DataCell and WikiLeaks will instruct their international legal team to take actions against these companies in the coming days as outlined above. Further actions in other jurisdictions will follow.”
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.