WikiLeaks to file complaints against credit card giants

5 Jul 2011

Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks will file a complaint with the European Commission on Thursday against Visa and MasterCard if the two credit card giants don’t lift their ban on donations to the site, a lawyer has said.

WikiLeaks, which has published confidential US diplomatic cables as well as classified information on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, has infuriated officials by making such information public.

Visa and MasterCard imposed a ban on all payments made to WikiLeaks in December.

The website will also file complaints in Denmark and Reykjavik, Iceland, said WikiLeak’s lawyer Svein Andri Sveinsson, who is based in Iceland. Those complaints will likely be filed in September, in an effort to recover what Sveinsson said are tens of millions of euros the site has lost through the donation freeze.

At the commission in Brussels, WikiLeaks will charge that Visa and MasterCard have abused their dominant market position and violated European competition rules.

Visa and MasterCard had no comment on the complaints, and Sveinsson said he had not heard yet from either company.

Hacktivist collective Anonymous launched a DDoS attack against Visa and MasterCard late last year, to show support for WikiLeaks and for the two companies holding back donations to the site.