WikiLeaks has announced plans to sue Visa and MasterCard over their refusal to process donations to the whistle-blowing service.
WikiLeaks is working with lawyers in Denmark and Iceland and its credit card processing partner DataCell to sue the card schemes for "engaging in an unlawful, US influenced, financial blockade".
Lawyers for the firm say that if the ongoing blockade is not removed Visa, MasterCard and Danish card processor Teller will be litigated in Denmark and a request for prosecution under EU competition laws will be filed with the European Commission. 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.
WikiLeaks says that Teller has acknowledged that it is ready to reinstate processing as due diligence by the company has not found any violations by DataCell, but, despite this, the company "has been ordered by Visa and MasterCard to keep the payment services closed".
WikiLeaks says the strangling of fund raising has so far cost it $15 million in lost revenue. It says further actions in other jurisdictions will follow.
The penalty for infringing the competition rules of the EU can amount to 10% of the turnover of the companies involved. Moreover, violators of the competition rules may now be sued in most jurisdictions within the EU for damages under the law on tort.