EU Scrutinizes Libra for ‘Potential Anti-Competitive Behavior’

According to recent reports, EU antitrust regulators have been investigating Facebook Inc.’s new launch in the cryptocurrency, Libra.

The Commission is ‘currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior’ associated with the Libra digital project through the concerns about unhealthy drift in competition.

It is believed that the suggested payment framework would halt operations for rivals in an unjust manner, said the authorities from the EU in a recent interview.

The stakeholders from the authority said that they’re worried about the ‘possible competition restrictions’ that execution of Libra may create. The information exchange and the employment of customer data, which is a basic procedure to the inquiry during the early stage operation of the EU seem rather unreliable.

Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner of European Competition, spoke that the investigation was legit even when the digital asset is to be supported by four other official virtual currencies and made accessible to all those Facebook users across the globe, but is still to be made functional.

We can even look at new services even before they’re introduced. That’s what we’re doing right now, with Facebook’s plan for a new cryptocurrency, known as Libra, which it announced back in June,

Vestager said in the recent speech at a conference in Bergen, Norway.

She said,

We’re looking at whether those proposals create risks for competition, so we can be ready to act swiftly if an intervention were to prove necessary.

Earlier in August, she released a set of questionnaires to be filled by the 28 Libra Association Members in Geneva for setting up regulations to control the new digital coins.

The document released also wanted an explanation of how the new currency supported products and services will be incorporated into Facebook’s social platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Calibra. It also came up with questions on the way user data would be used and who would be its owner.

Scrutiny to Mark Zuckerberg’s objectives to work with conventional paper money aggravates the need for a necessary EU investigation on how Facebook might be on its way to leverage its user potential to scrape away the similar apps.

Data-protection stakeholders are also cautious of how Libra might exchange information. They spoke earlier that Facebook could use its potential to club together ‘vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements.’

Visa Inc. chooses not to comment, looking at the fact that the Libra representatives didn’t care to respond to requests immediately. Even Mastercard Inc. did not have hearsay to the situation.

Besides the antitrust department, EU regulators have been ‘monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development,’ said an official from the commission’s financial division.

Roxanne Williams

Roxanne Williams has recently joined as a market reporter for CryptoNewsZ - the 24/7 crypto news site, where she produces recent stories, technical analysis and price updates on world's leading cryptocurrencies.

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