Technology: Congress will grill Mark Zuckerberg over Libra October 23rd - PressFrom - US
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Technology Congress will grill Mark Zuckerberg over Libra October 23rd

20:35  09 october  2019
20:35  09 october  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Facebook’s Libra Association is being investigated by EU antitrust regulators

Facebook’s Libra Association is being investigated by EU antitrust regulators Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project is being probed again, this time by European Union antitrust regulators. The European Commission said it is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior," related to the Libra Association, Bloomberg reports. In a questionnaire sent out this month, the EU authority expressed concerns that Libra would unfairly shut out rivals. The investigation, still in its early stages, is examining the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association. The purpose-built, independent nonprofit is meant to govern the digital currency.

Mark Zuckerberg will be under the spotlight of regulators once again when Facebook's CEO testifies before the Financial Services Committee this month. The congressional panel is set to grill him October 23rd over Facebook's planned cryptocurrency Libra and digital wallet Calibra.

Mark Zuckerberg et al. standing around a table

Zuckerberg will be the sole witness at the hearing, titled "An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors." Until now, Facebook has opted to mainly send Calibra CEO David Marcus to discuss Libra with regulators.

Facebook announced Libra and Calibra in June, and planned to roll them out next year. It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the cryptocurrency since. Regulators in the US, UK and EU, along with central banks, have sought answers about the stability and privacy implications of Libra.

France says it will block Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency in Europe

France says it will block Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency in Europe Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has run into another stumbling block. Less than a month after the EU opened up an antitrust investigation into the project, officials in France have announced that they "cannot authorize" Libra on European soil. Speaking at an OECD conference in Paris on Thursday, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Libra would put the sovereignty of governments at risk. "All these concerns around Libra are serious," he said, according to a translation by CNBC. "So I want to say this with a lot of clarity: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.

France and Germany have said it should be banned in the European Union. They argued it'd pose a challenge to governments' "monetary sovereignty." Meanwhile, PayPal has dropped its support for Libra, and Visa and Mastercard may follow suit.

In July, the Democratic members of the committee proposed legislation to block Facebook and other major tech companies from launching cryptocurrencies. Even if the bill doesn't make much progress towards becoming law, it highlights a degree of wariness about Libra from lawmakers, and suggests the committee members will have plenty to ask Zuckerberg about.

Financial Service Committee

Mark Zuckerberg to testify again before Congress .
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a House committee later this month as Congress scrutinizes the tech giant's plans for a digital currency. © Zach Gibson/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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