By Xeni Jardin at 5:53 pm Fri, Jul 1, 2011
Sounds good – with electronic service providers being the “public utilities” of today, whatever they say about their free-market rights to do or not do whatever they want – it’s high time that they are told they can’t just discriminate like that, short of being asked by a court to do so.
What did happen to all the donations that were blocked by Visa and MasterCard? Are they just frozen? Absorbed by the companies? Waiting on the US government to clear them?
This is so wrong.
I see from the article that the lawsuit will be filed in the EU and not the US. Anybody have a clue as to whether this makes it more or less likely to come out in Wikileak’s favor?
I’m guessing that, just like here in the states, it comes down to the judge hearing the case has a clue or not.
“Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe, and Teller (a Danish company licensed to process transactions on behalf of the card companies) are the subjects of the complaint.
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). “
So the choice to go to court in the EU is to leverage the EU anticompetition laws. It’s interesting that when dealing with these big financial organisations, which are banks in all but name — and so avoid banking regulation — that they’ve had to go to anticompetition law instead. The other international pseudobanks (like PayPal) will probably be paying close attention to how it plays out.
Slavoj Zizek, Assange, and Amy Goodman held a talk/discussion in London today on Democracy Now
I’m watching it live now:
about time too!
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