Competition policies and laws play a pivotal role in the process of liberalization and privatization in the business market as they act as an indispensable tool in confirming the competitiveness between companies. In India, CCI (the Competition Commission of India) is responsible for all competitive activities. Recently, the government agency is in headlines as it is reviewing antitrust accusations against one of the world’s leading messenger platforms, WhatsApp.
Sources cite that CCI is reviewing allegations that WhatsApp is misusing its leading position in the market by offering digital services to its extensive base of users in the nation. The agency is reviewing a complaint filed in March alleging that Facebook is misusing its leading market position to enter the nation’s growing digital payments landscape by integrating digital payment service within WhatsApp.
This news comes at a crucial time for WhatsApp which is aggressively planning to introduce its digital payment platform in India. The company has been testing beta versions of this feature with 1 million users since the year 2018. The case has been filed against both WhatsApp and Facebook. However, the complainant has requested the agency to investigate only WhatsApp. Sources didn’t disclose the identity of the person who filed the complaint.
As per reports, this digital payment service would enable users to do inter-bank fund transfers from within WhatsApp. The massaging app will directly compete with the nation’s top digital payment giants such as Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe which have millions of users across India.
Reportedly, Facebook has spent around 43,574 crores to acquire a 9.99% stake in Reliance Industries’ digital wing. This news comes as the latest setback for WhatsApp in the nation, as both companies are planning to introduce services for small businesses and grocers by capitalizing WhatsApp’s widespread reach.