European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project.
The EU is concerned that Libra could create “possible competition restrictions” on data that will be shared and the use of consumer information, Bloomberg reported. The investigation focuses on the governance and members of the Libra Association. But regulators are also looking into how Libra-backed apps will be integrated into Facebook’s messaging services, including Messenger and WhatsApp.
The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.
Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.
Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are “monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development,” a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.
Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine “vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements.”