Technology

Cielo and Facebook ask Brazil's national competition regulator to reconsider the suspension of WhatsApp Pay

The two companies argue that they had until July 3 to answer Cade's questions, but that the autarchy decided to suspend WhatsApp Pay before that deadline

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Facebook Inc., the parent company of WhatsApp, and the Brazillian acquirer Cielo asked on Monday (29) that the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), a Brazilian federal autarchy linked to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, reconsider the suspension of the WhatsApp payments service, WhatsApp Pay, launched on June 15th and suspended a few days later.

READ ALSO: Brazil’s instant payments system can reach 20 million users in its first year

In the petition, the two companies argue that they had until July 3 to answer Cade’s questions, but that the autarchy decided to suspend WhatsApp Pay before that deadline, on June 23, alongside with the Central Bank.

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The companies say that it is not possible to claim that they are competitors and that they have only one service provision contract between them, reinforcing that they understand that the transaction does not constitute a concentration act because the contract between Cielo and Facebook will not involve a merger, acquisition of equity interest or assets, incorporation or creation of consortium or even a joint venture.

On Thursday, WhatsApp’s chief Will Cathcart told Broadcast, the real-time information service from Estadão, that the app intends to adhere to the instant payment system being developed by the regulator, PIX.

According to the executive, the Central Bank expressed its intention to ‘find a way’ with the Visa and Mastercard card brands so that the payment solution continues to work and still involve other authorities to resolve any outstanding doubts.

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.