WikiLeaks delays complaint against Visa, Mastercard: lawyer
WikiLeaks is delaying its complaint to the European Commission against credit card giants Visa and MasterCard in the hopes of reaching an out-of-court deal, the website's lawyer said Thursday.
"Visa asked for a delay to react to our demands," Reykjavik-based Svein Andri Sveinsson told AFP.
"They said they would come back to us Friday... If nothing changes, we will file the complaint after the weekend. We just have the courtesy to not file a complaint when they requested a delay," he explained.
The suit was initially set to be filed Thursday.
In December, as WikiLeaks began publishing some 250,000 secret diplomatic cables, sparking an international controversy, Visa and MasterCard imposed a ban on all payments made to the whistleblowing website.
WikiLeaks says that cost them 130,000 euros ($185,250) a day.
WikiLeaks and DataCell, an Icelandic firm that handles WikiLeaks' donation collection, said at the weekend they would file a complaint with the European Commission.
They would argue that Visa and MasterCard had abused their dominant market positions and violated European competition rules.
It also said it would file two separate lawsuits in Denmark and Iceland.
Sveinsson argued WikiLeaks was "just another press organisation" and that over seven months, the blocked donations had amounted to millions of euros.
He had met with European competition officials to discuss the matter, he added.
WikiLeaks leaked classified information about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as private cables written by US diplomats, many of which contained embarrassing revelations and descriptions of foreign officials.
(c) 2011 AFP