As tech giants in the United States take over most of their industries and beyond, regulators and governments become increasingly concerned about their enormous power and influence.
In fact, Facebook, Twitter and Google’s parent company Alphabet faced antitrust laws in Congress in July.
The government’s main concern is that these companies are using their power to suppress competition and manipulate users in order to maintain a leading position in the market.
The latest in a series of antitrust allegations and an ongoing investigation against giant companies are being considered in the United States. The Ministry of Justice said in a public statement that they are investigating the payment giant’s takeover of the financial services company Blade.
In a statement, Bain & Company, Visa’s managing and advisory partner, was accused of failing to comply with civilian investigation requirements and withholding critical procurement documents. The information required by the firm is crucial to the department’s ability to analyze the fairness of the transaction and its impact on existing competition. The Ministry of Justice seems to fear that Visa has vetoed antitrust laws to keep competition under control.
Despite the failure, it seems that the payment giant is expanding its territory not only over the traditional economic landscape, but also via crypto payments. Visa cards handled almost the volume of transactions in the fourth quarter of 2020, surpassing the second largest payment processor, Mastercard, by more than. Even in the cryptocurrency area, the company has established a solid foundation and supports some of the most popular crypto cards.
In addition to Visa’s already extensive cryptocurrency coverage, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced plans to roll out a Visa debit card for cryptocurrencies in the United States. The card is available in the UK and EU from 2019. Early next year, Coinbase will also start sending its cards to people from all US states except Hawaii.
According to Coinbase, the card will support stack coins and other cryptocurrencies supported on the platform. Users will be able to make payments or withdraw money using their Visa-encrypted debit cards at any gateway that supports Visa cards.
Certainly, cryptocurrency credit and debit cards make cryptocurrencies much more convenient. There is also another major pressure to adopt cryptocurrency. However, the further expansion of these companies into fintech may pose a challenge to the US government. Although these companies’ non-compliance with the antitrust law has already become a serious problem for the government, their slow but successful growth in the decentralized financial world can be seen as a major problem.
The regulatory authority with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project is a suitable example of how careful the government is with central and private cryptocurrency projects that can reach a broad user base.