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European Union becomes Latest to Build a Case Against Libra

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August 21, 2019 | 

Darryn Pollock |  0 Comments| 

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Facebook’s Libra Project continues to under threat despite not being close to launching. The latest antagonist against the social media giant’s stablecoin project now appears to the EU which is building an antitrust probe against the project. 

Bloomberg reports the European Commission is “currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior” by the Libra Association. The investigation goes on to paint a picture of concern that the Facebook stablecoin could potentially lock out competitors. 

Facebook has been under heavy scrutiny for its Libra cryptocurrency after it announced it earlier this year. On its announcement, the US Senate was sparked into action, holding a hearing demanding how the company would deal with global regulations. 

This extended to a number of other countries as well as sever central banks who discussed the project at the G7 conference their concern about a public company issuing currencies. 

A Facebook mafia

The EU’s concern rests with the high-profile list of Libra association members, of which there are more than 20. These members include the likes of Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Uber and other large companies.

However, some of these companies have already started working together and building a competitive formation that is problematic for many regulators. Mastercard and Visa have reportedly  already signed loose agreements to partner with the Libra Association on the project.

Meanwhile, Anchorage, the blockchain custodian service underpinning the Libra association, has also announced that it has received funding from Visa. THis has not necessarily been put down to the face that they are Libra association members, but the links are there to be drawn.

Information gathering

As it stands, this is more of an information gathering effort from the European Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU, which proposes and enforces legislation, and implements policies and the budget.

The Commission is concerned that Libra could give rise to “possible competition restrictions” on the use of information including user data. It’s also looking at the possible integration of apps into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger that use Libra.

Big hurdles for Libra

Ever since Maxime Walters brought the Libra hearing to the Senate there has been huge hurdles put in front of Libra with the company admitting they may not launch if they cannot get regulatory clearance. 

Now, Walters has headed to Switzerland, where Libra is registered with a bevy of delegates to discuss the project with the Swiss data privacy chief. 

It was reported that a six-member group from the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee plans left to meet Adrian Lobsiger, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, to discuss Facebook’s plans for Libra in the country.

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