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Facebook’s Libra: The European Commission Begins Investigation

Libra partners ©Libra
Libra partners ©Libra

In November the new European Commission is to take up its duty – and then ones responsible for competition law will already have a lot of work to do. Because, as Bloomberg reports, the EU Commission has already begun an investigation into the cryptocurrency Libra, which Facebook alongside another 27 partners is planning to launch in early 2020. Libra should become a so-called Stablecoin, with which one can pay both online and offline.

Regulation authorities within the EU Commission already regard Libra as “potential anticompetitive behavior”. The payment system, which also includes other companies such as Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Spotify, eBay or Uber, could unfairly exclude competitors. The Commission also investigates that Facebook wants to include Wallets for Libra in its WhatsApp and Messenger apps, which would shoot more than 2b birds (in this case users) with one stone. Facebook repeatedly points out that other companies could offer wallets too.

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What happens to the user data?

There are also concerns about Libra because potentially user data and financial data of Facebook users could be merged into larger databases, whereas Facebook has always emphasized that it’s not about data – anyone who wants to use the cryptocurrency in Messenger or WhatsApp will need to identify themselves with ID. It is also planned that the Facebook’s  Calibra app will offer additional financial services. If anyone wants to get a loan, the company will have to look into his financial data.

In the US, Libra has already been in politicians’ sight. There, Facebook’s manager David Marcus had to face the nagging questions of US senators, who didn’t have much mercy for the crypto project. Facebook emphasized again and again that the company clearly wants to comply with the requirements of regulatory authorities. That’s another reason why the public was informed about the plans very early on, they said.

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