- The European Commission is investigating Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans over antitrust concerns.
- Bloomberg reports the EU is probing whether Libra might violate competition law.
- Facebook is also facing antitrust scrutiny in the US.
Facebook is apparently facing another antitrust inquiry – this one relating to Libra, its cryptocurrency project.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the European Commission has been reaching out to unspecified individuals or organisations about Libra, telling them that it is “currently investigating potential anti-competitive behaviour.”
A European Commission spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider, as did a spokesperson for Facebook.
Announced in June 2019, Libra plans to be a digital currency that will help internet users make purchases and send money across border without the friction of traditional currencies. Created by Facebook, it will be governed by the Libra Association, a non-profit organization comprised of the project’s other two-dozen-plus founding member companies, including Mastercard, Uber, and Spotify.
Facebook has weathered numerous scandals over the last two years, and is now facing increased regulatory scrutiny — including a US Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe examining its acquisitions of companies like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Now Libra, its newest (and highly ambitious) initiative is also coming under the microscope. According to Bloomberg’s report, the European Union body is looking into whether Libra will “create ‘possible competition restrictions’ on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data.”
The Libra Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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