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Facebook Selects London as a Hub for WhatsApp Payments

Almost one million people tested WhatsApp Pay in India to send money to each other in a simple and secure way

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Before it launches WhatsApp Pay in India, Facebook has selected London as base for the global roll-out of its digital payments service on the mobile messaging platform.

According to a report in the Financial Times on Wednesday, WhatsApp would hire nearly 100 people in London to focus on the digital payments service and additional operations staff would be hired in Dublin.

WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users globally, including over 300 million in India.

The new highly-skilled technical engineering staff would build a payments function as well as products that focus on safety and spam on the app, the report said.

“WhatsApp is a truly global service and these teams will help us provide WhatsApp payments and other great features for our users everywhere,” Matthew Idema, WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer, was quoted as saying.

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FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

WhatsApp has nearly 400 employees globally.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on April 24 that the company is actively working on to launch WhatsApp Pay in India.

“We have a test that is running in India for WhatsApp now, we’re hoping to launch in several other countries at some point, but I don’t want to put a timeframe on that here, but it’s something that we’re actively working on,” he said during an earnings call with analysts.

Also Read- 5G Spectrum Trial Begins Next Month in India

Almost one million people tested WhatsApp Pay in India to send money to each other in a simple and secure way.

The company on May 3 told the Supreme Court that it would comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data localisation norms before launching the full payments service in the country. (IANS)

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47 Attorneys General in US Join Anti-trust Probe Against Facebook

"The District of Columbia has joined this investigation to ensure Facebook is giving a fair shake to district residents and the American people. No company gets a pass if it throttles competitors and exploits consumers," said District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

In fresh trouble for Facebook, 47 attorneys general in the US have officially joined an investigation into Facebook for its anti-competitive market practices.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said the investigation now has the support of 47 attorneys general from around the nation, “who are all concerned that Facebook may have put consumer data at risk, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, and increased the price of advertising”.

“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions stifled competition and put users at risk,” James said in a statement late Tuesday.

The investigation launched last month with support from attorneys general from eight states — New York, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington, DC.

Facebook had earlier said it will work “constructively” with the attorneys general and engage with policy makers in a discussion about the competitive environment.

“Social media is a critical part of doing business in today’s economy. Any effort by Facebook to unlawfully stifle competition could cause wide-ranging harm to smaller companies, restrict consumer choice, and increase costs for all,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

According to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, “We are investigating whether Facebook has broken the law through anti-competitive practices or other acts that harm consumers.”

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

In a stern warning to tech giants, the US House Anti-Trust Committee has opened probes into Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and other tech giants to determine if they prevent competition and hurt consumers.

The investigation’s core is the idea that “the Internet is broken”.

“Big Tech must account for its actions. I am proud to join my Republican and Democrat colleagues in efforts to ensure Tech Giants can no longer hide behind complexity and complicity,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Also Read: Airtel Displays Fastest Download Speed, Jio tops 4G Availability

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey added: “It’s important that the internet remains fair and open to everyone. We are participating with a broad coalition of states in an investigation of Facebook’s business practices.”

A bipartisan coalition led by New York attorney general has launched an investigation into Facebook to understand whether it stifled competition and put users at risk.

“The District of Columbia has joined this investigation to ensure Facebook is giving a fair shake to district residents and the American people. No company gets a pass if it throttles competitors and exploits consumers,” said District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine. (IANS)