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Egypt Corporate Lawyers: BBC News - Wal-Mart sues Visa for fixing price of ...

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BBC News - Wal-Mart sues Visa for fixing price of credit card fees

Wal-Mart sues Visa for fixing price of credit card fees

28 March 2014 Last updated at 00:41 GMT
Wal-Mart logo Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer, and made $4.4bn in profit for the last three months

Giant US retailer Wal-Mart has sued credit card firm Visa for $5bn (£3bn), alleging that Visa worked with large banks to fix the price of transaction fees it charged to Wal-Mart.

The move comes after Wal-Mart opted out of a $5.7bn settlement with Visa and Mastercard in December.

Wal-Mart and other US retailers, such as Target, objected to the terms of that agreement.

Visa had sued Wal-Mart in June 2013 to prevent the firm from filing a lawsuit.

Wal-Mart, which is the world's largest retailer, argues that Visa worked with large banks "to illegally fix the interchange fees and inflate the network fees that Wal-Mart and other merchants pay on Visa charge card transactions".

Those large fees then caused "enormous damage" between 2004 and 2012, the retailer claims.

Wal-Mart is now suing Visa for damages, which it estimates to be over $5bn.

Visa declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed this week in Fayetteville, Arkansas, near Wal-Mart's headquarters.

Turkey blocks YouTube amid 'national security' concerns | World news |

Turkey blocks YouTube amid 'national security' concerns

Youtube Turkey

The Turkish government reinforced its heavily criticised clampdown on social media on Thursday, blocking YouTube a week after it restricted access to the micro-blogging platform Twitter. The latest curbs came hours after an audio recording of a high-level security meeting was leaked on the video-sharing website.

According to Turkish media reports, the decision to block YouTube was taken by Turkey's telecommunications authority (TİB) as a "precautionary administrative measure." In February, Turkey passed a much criticised new internet law that allows the telecommunications regulator to block websites without a court order. Turkey previously banned YouTube in 2007, but lifted the ban three years later.

Social media users in Turkey were able to access the site using "virtual private networks" (VPNs) – which allow an anonymous connection to the web – or by changing the domain name settings (DNS) on computers and mobile devices.

"We're seeing reports that some users are not able to access YouTube in Turkey. There is no technical issue on our side and we're looking into the situation," Google said in a statement emailed to the Guardian.

The move by the TIB came hours after an anonymous YouTube account posted a leaked audio recording allegedly of a confidential conversation between Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, undersecretary of the foreign ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu and deputy chief of the general staff, Yasar Gürel, discussing possible military action in Syria.

A source at the prime minister's office told Reuters that the government had taken action against YouTube after the leak of the voice recordings created a "national security issue". The source said that Turkey was in talks with the video-sharing platform and may lift the ban if YouTube agreed to remove the content.

Several similarly incriminating recordings, allegedly showing massive government corruption and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's direct influence on the media, have been leaked on social media in recent weeks. Erdogan has dismissed the allegations as lies and blackmail, accusing the opposition of trying to undermine the success of his Justice and Development party (AKP) ahead of critical local elections on Sunday.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Diyarbakir, Erdogan accused the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, of being behind the leaks: "Pennsylvania commits treason. […] To publish this recording is villainous, cowardly and immoral. Who are you serving with the surveillance of such a meeting?"

A public statement published on the foreign ministry's website called the leak "an act of espionage." A local prosecutor's office has meanwhile launched an investigation into the YouTube account.

The move against YouTube came after the TIB blocked access to Twitter on Friday. That created outrage in Turkey, where social media is widely used, and a court overturned the block on Wednesday.

Friday's Twitter block came hours after Erdoğan vowed on the campaign trail to get rid of Twitter. He said on Tuesday that the network "was threatening national security" and that it had refused to co-operate with the Turkish authorities.