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DataCell sues Visa and Mastercard over Wikileaks

by on05 July 2011

Start payment processing or end up in court
WikiLeaks' card payment processor is preparing legal action against Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe and other payment intermediaries.

DataCell was furious after its contract to process payments was abruptly terminated following WikiLeaks' release of secret US diplomatic cables last November. Now the outfit wants wants Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe to allow it to resume processing payments, including donations to the whistleblowing website.

Lawyer Sveinn Andri Sveinsson is preparing two civil lawsuits, and readying a complaint to the European Commission about MasterCard Europe and Visa Europe, he said Monday. He claims that the outfits have violated Articles 101 and 102 of European competition rules, which could result in a fine from the European Commission.

DataCell, an Icelandic data centre operator and web hosting provider, provided a payment gateway for organisations such as WikiLeaks that did not have merchant accounts for receiving card payments. Sveinsson  said that the anti-competitive effects of their refusal to process WikiLeaks donations amounts to discrimination between customers and distorts competition, which places DataCell at a competitive disadvantage, the complaint says.

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