Brazil Eases WhatsApp Ban â€” But Itâ€™s Still Suspended
Despite Brazilian regulators lifting a suspension on WhatsAppâ€™s payments, the countryâ€™s central bank is still blocking the launch.
On June 24, Brazilâ€™s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, known locally by its Portuguese acronym â€˜CADEâ€™ suspended an agreement between Facebook and Brazilian payment firm Cielo to process payments for WhatsApp.
CADE reversed its sanctions on Facebook and Cielo after receiving information from the firms evidencing a substantial reduction in the risks initially identified by the watchdog.
The firms sought to assure CADE that their deal would not compromise the competitive landscape of Brazilâ€™s payments sector, with the documents asserting that Facebook and WhatsApp will merely â€œoffer an additional channel for payments transaction between consumers and merchants.â€�
CADE now accepts that the firmsâ€™ partnership â€œdoes not translate a closed payment systemâ€� noting that the deal allows â€œthe possibility of aggregating other agents active in the payment instruments chainâ€�.
â€œThere is evidence that the grounds that supported the decision to impose a precautionary measure do not exist, therefore it is necessary to revoke [it],â€� CADE concluded.
Despite warming to the deal, CADE will continue to investigate the partnership, with the regulator emphasizing that any anti-competitive behavior will result in the reimposition of sanctions against the firms.
Brazilâ€™s central bank yet to budge
In an announcement, Cieloâ€™s president of finance Gustavo Sousa noted that the firmâ€™s â€œoperation[s] remains under the analysis of the Central Bank of Brazil and that transactions via the WhatsApp application remain suspendedâ€�.
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