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Mastercard International Inc. v. Federation Internationale De Football Association

August 10, 2006

MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Loretta A. Preska, U.S.D.J.

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff MasterCard, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Purchase, New York, brought an action against Federation Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA"), a Swiss organization, for breaching a contract to give MasterCard the right of first refusal for a future sponsorship program. This motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is the first of several motions that have been submitted.*fn1 For the reasons set out below, the motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

MasterCard and FIFA entered a World Cup Sponsorship Agreement for 2003-2006 (the "Agreement") on November 26, 2002, Compl. ¶ 14;*fn2 Brodsky Decl. Ex. 1, Agreement at 25,*fn3 their fourth consecutive World Cup agreement, Compl. ¶ 12; Munson Decl. ¶ 5.*fn4

The Agreement came about after months of negotiations that included two days of meetings on September 10 and 11, 2002, at MasterCard's headquarters in Purchase, New York, and numerous phone conversations and e-mails that were placed, sent, and received in New York. Compl. ¶ 15; Munson Decl. ¶¶ 17, 44; Stuart Decl. ¶¶ 20-21;*fn5 Thomson Decl. ¶ 4.*fn6 Further, aspects of the performance of the Agreement have taken place in New York. Compl. ¶ 15; Munson Decl. ¶ 42.

MasterCard alleges that an important aspect of the Agreement was MasterCard's right of first refusal for future sponsorships. Compl. ¶¶ 20-21. In a letter dated April 5, 2006, FIFA informed MasterCard that FIFA had entered a sponsorship agreement with VISA for 2007-2014, which MasterCard alleges is a violation of the right-of-first-refusal provision. Compl. ¶¶ 44- 45. FIFA now moves to dismiss this action for lack of personal jurisdiction because, it argues, MasterCard has not established the requisite minimum contacts for jurisdiction in New York.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard for Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(2)

FIFA argues that the Court does not have personal jurisdiction over it, and MasterCard bears the burden of demonstrating jurisdiction. See Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Robertson-Ceco Corp., 84 F.3d 560, 567 (2d Cir. 1996). Plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdiction at this time, however, because I decide the question of personal jurisdiction solely on the basis of affidavits and documentary material. Catalyst Energy Dev. Corp. v. Iron Mountain Mines, Inc., 630 F. Supp. 1314, 1315 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (citing Mayes v. Leipziger, 674 F.2d 178, 182 n.3 (2d Cir. 1982); Marine Midland Bank, N.A. v. Miller, 664 F.2d 899, 904 (2d Cir. 1981)). In considering challenges to personal jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(2), a court may consider evidence extrinsic to the pleadings, such as affidavits. See Kronisch v. United States, 150 F.3d 112, 130-31 (2d Cir. 1998).

B. Application

I must analyze personal jurisdiction in two parts: First, whether FIFA is amenable to service and, second, whether jurisdiction "comports with the requirements of due process." Kernan v. Kurz-Hastings, Inc., 175 F.3d 236, 240 (2d Cir. 1999) (quoting Metro. Life, 84 F.3d at 567).

1. Amenable to Service

MasterCard invokes New York's long-arm statute to argue that FIFA is amenable to service by having transacted business in New York. Section 302(a)(1) of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, in pertinent part, provides:

(a) As to a cause of action arising from any of the acts enumerated in this section, a court may exercise personal jurisdiction over any non-domiciliary ...


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