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Judge says Visa cannot escape Pornhub related lawsuit

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This weekend, Judge Cormac J. Kearney of the U.S. District Court for Central California denied a request to deny the visa. Case It alleges MindGeek, the parent company of the website Pornhub, conspired to help profit from child sexual abuse images.

Is Visa Helping Others Make Money From Illegal Images? The court said it may have allowed certain claims against Visa to proceed based on MindGeek’s role in processing payments. The lawsuit was filed by a woman who claims MindGeek profited from a naked video filmed at the time. underage teen Posted on Pornhub.

  • “If Visa knew there was a significant amount of child pornography on MindGeek’s site, the court would have to admit this as true at this stage of the case. , was processing the monetization of child pornography,” Judge Carney wrote.

A very strong word in a decision will alert payment processors. This early-stage win shows that companies may not be able to easily distance themselves from allegations of fraud by their clients.

  • Judge Carney: “When the court links MindGeek’s mass content removals with allegations that former MindGeek employees reported general fears at the company that Visa Saying that it might pull out doesn’t strike the courts as deadly speculation what was being monetized and the power to withhold the means of monetization — MindGeek’s monetization of child pornography and hence plaintiff’s videos is directly responsible (together with MindGeek) for the monetization of

Visa argued that the lawsuit could overturn its finances. In its motion to dismiss, Visa said the decision against the company would disrupt the financial and payments industry and make it impossible for Visa to conduct business processing transactions with millions of law-abiding businesses and consumers. I was. A company spokesperson told DealBook in a statement condemning that “materials about sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse are contrary to our values ​​and purpose as a company.” announced. A spokesperson for Visa said the company did not condone using its network for illegal activity and continued to believe it was an improper defendant, calling the ruling “disappointing” and adding that “Visa misunderstanding the role of

However, the judge said that Visa’s argument was “reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis that the financial industry was ‘too big to fail'” and that Visa would not use its services to encourage illegal activity. He said it was not a valid reason to ask. Tall order.

FTC Chairman Rina Khan has dismissed her staff for suing Mehta. Bloomberg Law reportedThe agency filed an injunction last week to block its acquisition of virtual reality fitness app maker Within.Khan’s move reflects her more aggressive approach to competition law and big tech. increase.

More than 70 current and former Deutsche Bank employees are under investigation in the tax scheme. An internal investigation into the bank reportedly found that its staff broke rules to help customers evade taxes. shared. reported by the Financial Times.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launches a tour of Asia that may include a stop in Taiwan. China has issued increasingly harsh warnings in recent days that a visit to the sovereign island would likely provoke a military response. The Biden administration did not try to stop Pelosi, concluding that the potential risk of trying to stop the visit was greater than the risk of allowing Pelosi to proceed.

Two major antitrust lawsuits begin today. The Justice Department has filed lawsuits to block Penguin Random House’s proposed $2.2 billion acquisition of rival Simon & Schuster and UnitedHealth’s $13 billion acquisition of health tech company Change Healthcare.Both lawsuits are against the Biden administration. Fighting corporate concentration.

Late Friday night, Disney filed antitrust lawsuits against Visa and Mastercard. It is an offshoot of a 2005 lawsuit over an interchange fee charged to merchants by credit card companies for each transaction and paid to the bank that issued the card. Many businesses, such as retailers, that rely heavily on credit card purchases claim that card companies dominate the market, enabling them to price these charges effectively. And they say the end result will be a higher price for customers.

The lawsuit stems from a settlement of approximately $6 billion in 2012. The initial settlement included an agreement between Visa and Mastercard to reduce transaction processing fees for eight months. However, including parliamentarians Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinoisargued that the concessions offered by credit card companies were insufficient. like walmart Opted out of the settlement, hoping to get better terms for Amazon. did earlier this yearThat means the lawsuit could be a way for Disney to demand money, improve terms with credit card companies, or both.

Disney alleges that Visa and Mastercard used corporate tactics to mask their position in the industry. When Visa and Mastercard were private companies, they were backed by thousands of financial institutions, including major banks such as JPMorgan Chase, which was an interchange fee recipient. When payment processors went public in 2006 and 2008, some analysts said they were aimed at easing regulatory scrutiny, creating a perception of separation from banks. His Harry First, a law professor specializing in antitrust law at NYU, told DealBook: “A single company can set its own price and do what it wants.” (This strategy is similar to the one the NFL failed in a Supreme Court argument years ago.)

Although the corporate structure has changed, Disney claims in its complaint that the credit card company’s behavior has not changed. According to Disney, the lucrative fees that Visa and Mastercard provided to banks remain intact, with both companies dominating the industry and driving up costs. The debit card market is dominated by Visa and Mastercard,” the complaint states. “Visa and Mastercard together accounted for about 75% of all debit purchases in 2004, and now he accounts for more than 80%.” Fees also continue to be a focus of legislative action.The plan of Senator Durbin and his colleagues propose a new bill target them.

A Mastercard spokesperson told DealBook, “We have no plans to file a lawsuit over this and expect a resolution to be announced in the near future.” Visa declined to comment on the record.


— JD Daunt, Chief Commercial Officer, Liquidity Services. Boom for liquidators Retailers are rushing to ditch items that were in high demand just a year ago.

An initial public offering is one of the most legendary and difficult deals in the business world.of “Public,” This was published last week when Insider’s chief finance correspondent, Dakin Campbell, said venture capitalist Bill Gurley would make 2019 (in his opinion) IPOs fairer for startups and average investors. It details how you led the effort to make it happen. The effort sparked a variety of transaction types, including direct listings and special-purpose acquisition companies, challenging the big banks’ control over the process.

Three years later, some of the companies that went public in these non-traditional ways saw their share prices fall, resulting in huge losses for investors. Other transactions were outright frauds. DealBook spoke to Campbell about this Silicon Valley-inspired IPO “revolution” and its aftermath.

Who benefited from the changes you describe in your book to IPOs driven by Silicon Valley powerhouse brokers?

Venture capitalists and other corporate insiders have undoubtedly had success with direct listings, but average investors have also prevailed. His traditional IPOs offer institutional investors an early opportunity to buy shares at a lower price than the average investor. A direct listing allows the average investor to access her IPO shares at the same time as institutional investors at a price set by the market. It’s much fairer.

Is this good for the economy?

Over the past two decades, the number of companies listed on US stock exchanges has declined dramatically. According to some figures, it has fallen in half. As companies have more options to access public markets, this trend will increase. And that’s good for the state of corporate innovation, the larger economy, and citizens who invest in public stocks to build wealth.

However, many of these deals did not create wealth. SPAC has become the biggest loser in the market.

I’m sure many retail investors unfortunately lost their money. So did institutional investors. In general, I think this is less about the process and more about the business cycle. Fraud is another matter altogether. The SEC has taken a stronger hand in regulating the SPAC market. I think we can all agree that this is a good thing.

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We appreciate your feedback. Please email your comments and suggestions to dealbook@nytimes.com.

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