Facebook: EU launches antitrust probe over Libra

Facebook: EU launches antitrust probe over Libra
Photo: Dado Ruvić/Reuters via The Guardian

The European Union’s antitrust regulators are reportedly cracking down on Facebook’s recently released Libra cryptocurrency project.

Documents retrieved by Bloomberg, who first broke the news, showed that the social networking company is currently under investigation under the European Commission. The outlet reports that Facebook Inc. is facing an antitrust probe over “potential anti-competitive behavior” linked to the Libra Association.

The two-month-old cryptocurrency is under scrutiny as concerns were raised that it could unfairly oust rivals with its proposed payment system according to the European Commission.

According to a questionnaire that the commission sent out earlier this August, the EU officials are concerned about the possibility that Libra may place “competition restrictions” on consumer data exchange. Receiving a questionnaire is standard practice for an EU inquiry in its early stages.

The investigation comes second to another preliminary antitrust probe into how Facebook Inc. may unfairly be using its dominance to shut out rival apps. But Mark Zuckerberg’s company isn’t the only one in big tech under the Brussels-based commission’s scrutiny. The EU’s most threatening regulator has already gone after Apple Inc. and Google.

Facebook Inc. and the European Commission has declined to comment on the probe, per Bloomberg. The former has previously declared its plans to pacify all regulators prior to Libra’s release. By the looks of it, this might take a while.

Libra has been under intense scrutiny in the United States as well, since its announcement. It is believed that the cryptocurrency poses a threat to the guardians of money as a global currency that is out of their control.