CCI to probe into anti-trust allegations against WhatsApp Pay: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 16, 2020

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into anti-trust allegations against Facebook’s WhatsApp.

The antitrust watchdog is looking into a complaint that the social media giant is abusing its dominant position by offering WhatsApp Pay, a payment service integrated with its messaging platform, Reuters reported.

According to the complaint filed in mid-March, the company is abusing its market position and its vast user base in the country to penetrate India’s booming digital payments market.

Its payment service will be competing against services such as GooglePay, PayTM and PhonePe in India.

The complaint comes at a crucial time for WhatsApp which is already battling with compliance issues to launch its payment service that it has been beta testing in the country since 2018.

WhatsApp on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it will not go ahead with the launch of WhatsApp Pay without complying with Indian regulations according to media reports.

The company had made the statement in response to the hearing of a plea filed by Delhi-based think tank Good Governance Chambers stating that Facebook’s data privacy policies were non-compliant with the applicable laws and guidelines issued by the NPCI and Reserve Bank of India. The plea was seeking a ban on the payment service alleging compliance issues.

According to the RBI’s data localisation norms, foreign companies are required to store all transaction-related data and user data in servers located within the country while removing the data from all foreign servers within 24 hours. WhatsApp is yet to completely localise user data.

The company told the apex court that it will not launch its service till it is fully compliant with all Indians laws and regulations, the report said.

Published on May 16, 2020

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