Competition issues: Report: EU looks closer to Facebook currency Libra
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Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission takes a closer look at the plans of the US giant Facebook for the digital currency Libra according to a media report.
Competition watchdogs see the possibility that Facebook and the companies affiliated to the Libra Association could illicitly exclude competitors, Bloomberg wrote, citing a Commission document.
Among other things, it is about how Facebook Libra wanted to integrate into its existing services such as the chat app WhatsApp - and how user data should be used, it said. Libra was developed on Facebook, but is to be managed by the Geneva-based Libra Association.
Facebook should be there only one of the members without special rights. The online network announced at the same time that in WhatsApp and its second chat service Messenger only the in-house digital Libra wallet with the name Calibra should be directly integrated.
Officially, the European Commission did not comment on request.
Facebook wants to make Libra available to consumers in the coming year, but the idea is sometimes met with massive opposition from politicians and central banks. The digital currency should be about to buy with US dollars or euros. The project's first partners include more than two dozen private companies such as Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and Uber. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg initially sees the currency as an advantage, especially for cross-border credit transfers. In order to avoid price fluctuations, Libra should be linked to established currencies and hedged by government bonds. Facebook had previously emphasized that before introducing the currency to remove concerns from regulators.
EU competition keepers had already targeted Facebook in the past. Due to misleading information on the possible data merge in the acquisition of WhatsApp the company had to pay about 110 million euros penalty.