The European Union has begun a preliminary investigation into Facebook's plans to launch the upcoming cryptocurrency Libra and what it says could be "potential anti-competitive behaviour"
Officials for the European Union told Bloomberg that they believe Libra could create "possible competition restrictions" on the information exchange and the use of consumer data, favouring Facebook and its products over competitors.
This preliminary investigation will assist a current investigation into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the platform's alleged unfair use of power as a market leader to prevent competitive growth.
“Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem," said David Marcus, head of Calibra, the digital platform that stores Libra.
“We know the journey is just beginning, but together we can achieve Libra’s mission to create a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that will empower billions of people.”
The cryptocurrency is planned to be integrated into Facebook and WhatsApp, while third-party platforms Uber and Visa have also agreed to accept the digital payment.
Data holds value
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently fined the social platform for a record-breaking $5bn after Facebook shared data with Cambridge Analytica.
FTC chairman Joseph Simmons commented on the platform and the inability to gauge Facebook's grasp on the market following its purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp.
“If they’re maintaining separate business structures and infrastructure, it’s much easier to have a divestiture in that circumstance than in where they’re completely enmeshed and all the eggs are scrambled," he said.
Simmons added that the FTC investigation into Facebook will be complete before the 2020 election.