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Indian competition watchdog dismisses case against WhatsApp payments

Indian competition watchdog dismisses case against WhatsApp payments

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a case accusing WhatsApp of abusing its dominate market position in messaging to move into the country's payments space.

The CCI says it did not find that Facebook-owned WhatsApp was in contravention of antitrust laws.

WhatsApp's payments feature is still in beta in India, limited to less than one per cent of its customers in the country.

The firm also told the CCI that users are not required to register for the payments service in order to use the main messaging service.

WhatsApp began testing P2P payments in India in 2018 but has yet to secure clearance for a full launch.

Recently, the firm launched payments in Brazil only to be shut down by the central bank within ten days over competition issues.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 20 August, 2020, 14:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As the Indian regulator CCI has correctly pointed out, it's not mandatory for a user of WhatsApp messaging functionality to use WhatsApp payment functionality. As I pointed out in Cross Selling Is Hard, cross selling is not that easy. The 450M users of WhatsApp messaging functionality in India are not going to abandon their existing payment apps and adopt WhatsApp payment functionality just because it's available. 

In principle, I agree with the Indian regulator's decision to dismiss the antitrust case against WhatsApp Payments. That said, I'm curious to know why Brazil's central bank shut down WhatsApp Payments in that country after (I assume) it allowed it to start operating.