According to new information, the antitrust authorities of the European Union have launched a preliminary investigation of Facebook’s plans to issue its digital currency. Regulators are worried that Libra may exclude competitors through the use of vast amounts of consumer information and data. The EU is also considering integrating Libra wallets into WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger services.
The source of the report is a questionnaire sent by the European Commission to Libra-related groups. Note that such documents are often part of the early steps to a formal investigation. Facebook and the European Commission declined to comment on a possible investigation.
The European Commission is the only regulator that expresses an increased interest in the Libra cryptocurrency. US officials are very opposed to this project and many of them even stated that in general, they are not sure that Facebook should launch Libra. French and German finance ministers also quickly reacted to Zuckerberg’s plans, saying they were against Facebook becoming a “shadow bank” with its sovereign currency.
Facebook officials said they would not launch Libra until they completely resolved all regulatory issues. It is worth noting that the statute of the Libra Association has not yet been adopted, and this means that the rules of the consortium are not yet known. It is not clear how long this confrontation will continue, but both sides are very serious, so there is still a lot of news on this subject.