FinCEN Files: Investigation into Dirty Money Transfers from Major Global Banks

At least $ 2 trillion in suspicious transactions were carried out between 2000 and 2017 by several major global banks. This is what an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, made up of 400 journalists from the media in 88 countries, including the investigation units of Radio France and the newspaper Le Monde, reveals.
For their investigation, ICIJ journalists were able to obtain "suspicious activity reports". These are top-secret documents that US bank internal compliance officials send to US financial intelligence agencies when they detect questionable money transfers.

According to these documents, 2,000 billion dollars in suspicious transactions may have been carried out. It is dirty money linked to drugs, corruption, organized crime and terrorism.

Large banks are singled out like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon or HSBC. They ensure, however, that they make significant efforts to combat financial crime an…

European Commission opens two investigations into Apple

The European Commission is launching two investigations into Apple, which it suspects of violating European competition rules. One is for its Apple Pay mobile payment service, the other for online music.

European Commission opens two investigations into Apple

A few months before its proposals for reforming European competition law, the European Commission is launching investigations against internet giants. Several of their competitors in Europe accuse them of controlling their internet access and hampering their development. Brussels, which suspects them of anti-competitive practices in various fields, wants to fight against the hegemony of GAFA. In parallel, the European Commission opens this Tuesday two investigations against Apple.

The first investigation follows a complaint from Swedish music provider Spotify, an online music download site, which accuses Apple of abusing its dominant position in the online music market. Apple, which owns both the IOS operating system and the Apple Store app, charges a 30% fee on all subscriptions made from its Apple Store app store. A monopoly situation denounced by Spotifiy which suffers from a shortfall. In addition, Apple also owns an online music download platform, Apple Music, in direct competition with Spotify. With its app store, Apple would prioritize its own services at the expense of those of competitors.

In the Brussels press release, the Commission's executive vice-president responsible for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said: "We must ensure that Apple's rules do not distort competition in the markets in which this company competes with other application developers, such as Apple Music or Apple Books. ” Another complaint had been lodged by a distributor of electronic and audio books, although Brussels did not name him, it seems according to the Financial Times that it is about Kobo, the subsidiary of the Japanese Rakuten.

The second investigation opened by Brussels, still against Apple, concerns its Apple Pay application. The commission denounces "the terms, conditions and other measures imposed by Apple for the integration of Apple Pay into commercial applications and commercial websites on iPhones and iPads". According to Margrethe Vestager, "it appears that Apple sets the conditions for the use of Apple Pay in applications and on merchant websites." This contactless payment application forces the banks to pay him fees for each payment at merchants. However, they have no choice but to use Apple Pay to operate their own contactless payment application. In addition, it is impossible for holders of an Aple device to use another competing payment system such as Google Pay or Samsung Pay. This poses a problem in terms of competition.

The opening of an investigation by the Commission does not in any way prejudge its outcome and there is no deadline for rendering a result. However, in its press release, the European executive, often criticized for its slowness, insists on the "priority" character of this investigation. At the announcement of the opening of these investigations, the apple firm immediately reacted, accusing the complainants of "wanting to take advantage of the situation without paying". The European Commission warns that it will conduct in-depth investigations. If its suspicions are proven, Apple risks financial sanctions. This is not the first time that Brussels has attacked Apple. Four years ago, the apple firm was ordered to refund 13 billion euros in improper tax benefits to Ireland.