Visa, MasterCard appear to lift WikiLeaks ban


8 Jul 2011

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Credit card giants Visa and MasterCard appear to have lifted their ban on donations to WikiLeaks following news earlier this week that the whistle-blowing website would file a complaint with the European Commission on the matter.

DataCell, the company that deals with WikiLeaks payments, has said it is now able to again process Visa and MasterCard payments.

In December, the companies had imposed a ban on all payments made to WikiLeaks, which infuriated officials by publishing confidential US diplomatic cables, as well as classified information on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We have observed that an alternative payment processor that we have contracted with has, in fact, opened the gateway for payments with Visa and MasterCard, and now also for American Express Card payments, which is an option we did not have before," DataCell said in a blog post.

MasterCard has not commented on news of the reinstatement and Visa told Fortune it did not reinstate DataCell and "are looking into how transactions are being made."

WikiLeak’s lawyer Svein Andri Sveinsson had said earlier this week the site would have filed a complaint with the European Commission on Thursday against Visa and MasterCard if the companies didn’t lift their bans on donations to the site, charging they abused their dominant market positions and violated European competition rules.

The website would also file complaints in Denmark and Reykjavik, Iceland, said Sveinsson, in an effort to recover what Sveinsson said are tens of millions of euros the site has lost through the donation freeze.