La Libra, Facebook's digital currency, announced for 2021 in reduced format

The launch of Facebook's digital currency, Libra , could take place in 2021. The project may benefit from favorable factors in the global economy, but regulators will have to be convinced first.  Facebook could launch Libra, its digital currency in 2021, we learn from the British media Financial Times, which quotes people close to the process. The product is expected to arrive in a limited version, after the project has met with great aversion from regulators, including in the United States, the country where the headquarters of the social media management company are located. The stakeholder association behind this digital currency project is now planning to launch a single version of Libra that will itself be pegged to the dollar, at the rate of one unit of US currency for each Facebook digital currency . “The other forms of currencies will be deployed at a later stage,” the FT source added. The exact launch date will depend on when the project

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.