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Brazilian antitrust watchdog allows Cielo and WhatsApp deal for payments and transactions

Despite the decision, WhatsApp Pay remains suspended because of another order from the Central Bank

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  • Facebook Inc., the parent company of WhatsApp, and the Brazillian acquirer Cielo asked for the approval on Monday;
  • Although Brazilian federal agency reconsidered the suspension, it is still blocked by another decision by the Central Bank.

The Brazilian antitrust watchdog (Cade) allowed the payment processor Cielo and WhatsApp deal for its payment and transactions system after Cielo asked for it. Despite the decision, WhatsApp Pay remains suspended because the Brazilian Central Ban blocked the agreement last week.

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WhatsApp Paylaunched on June 15th was suspended a few days later. However, Cade stated that it will continue investigating the deal. In the order signed on Tuesday, Cade’s general superintendent, Alexandre Cordeiro Macedo, affirms that “there is evidence that the grounds that supported the decision to impose a precautionary measure don’t exist, therefore he measure is to be revoked.”

The decision also points out that the deal wouldn’t impose restrictions on competing accreditors to provide Facebook with the same services provided by Cielo. “Under the terms of the agreement, Facebook wouldn’t guarantee minimum volumes of transactions captured, so Cielo won’t have incentives to stop operating in other transaction channels or even explore similar partnerships. For Facebook, there were not incentives to hire only Cielo’s services ”, states the dispatch.

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Brazil is the first country where Facebook is widely rolling out payments in WhatsApp. The feature uses Facebook Pay, the payments service WhatsApp owner Facebook launched last year, and which provides a way to make payments across the company’s apps.