Daily Dash: Big Tech Under Pressure As EU Opens First DMA Investigations

March 26, 2024
The European Commission has opened new investigations into several big tech “gatekeeper” platforms under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and open banking platform Trustly has launched a new cross-border partnership with MoneyGram.

Big Tech Under Pressure As EU Opens First DMA Investigations

The European Commission has opened its first non-compliance investigations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), alleging anti-competitive behaviour across several big tech platforms.

Alphabet's rules on steering in Google Play and self-preferencing on Google Search will come under scrutiny, as will Apple's rules on steering in the App Store, its choice screen for Safari, and Meta's “pay or consent model”.

In addition, the commission has launched investigatory steps relating to Apple's new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon's ranking practices on its marketplace. 

The regulator has also ordered the so-called “gatekeeper” firms to retain certain documents to monitor the effective implementation and compliance with their obligations.

"The Digital Markets Act became applicable on 7 March. We have been in discussions with gatekeepers for months to help them adapt, and we can already see changes happening on the market," said Thierry Breton, the commission's internal market chief. 

Trustly To Power Cardless International Transfers For MoneyGram Users

Trustly, a Swedish open banking platform, has announced that it has partnered with MoneyGram International to deliver cardless cross-border transfers to users across Europe.

When sending international transfers through MoneyGram Online, customers now have the option to pay directly by bank account.

The service is powered by Trustly’s open banking platform and allows MoneyGram Online users to avoid entering card details on the app or website. It also allows MoneyGram to save on card fees.

The partnership is already live in multiple European countries and was extended to the UK and Germany within the last month. 

Trustly said its proprietary data engine, Azura, offers modern pay-by-bank infrastructure, near-instant payments and “best-in-class” know your customer (KYC).

In addition to MoneyGram, Trustly’s other major partners include Dell, T-Mobile and Lyft.

UK Government Sets Out Next Phase Of New Regulatory Framework

HM Treasury has published an update on the next “Building a Smarter Financial Services Regulatory Framework” phase.

This policy paper sets out the next phase of delivering a Smarter Regulatory Framework for the UK by replacing assimilated law on financial services. 

The paper, among other things, gives an overview of the programme's progress and states that the UK government continues to review assimilated law repealed by the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2023. 

The next tranche of the programme, Tranche 3, will include continuing with Payment Services and E-Money Directives reform. 

This follows on from the Payment Services Regulations call for evidence and review conducted in 2023, the Future of Payments Review report conducted by Joe Garner in 2023, and the government’s forthcoming National Payments Vision.

Nationwide Offers To Buy Virgin Money

Nationwide Building Society has formally agreed to a deal worth £2.9bn to buy Virgin Money. 

“The Board believes the acquisition offers compelling benefits for Nationwide’s current and future members,” said Kevin Parry, Nationwide’s chair. 

Parry has told building society members that this acquisition will strengthen Nationwide financially and presents an opportunity to accelerate its strategy. 

“It delivers greater value for our members and broadens the range of services we offer to include those that many members have requested.”

Among the benefits of the acquisition, Parry pointed out that Nationwide is acquiring a strong personal lending business and credit card range, and a larger branch network. 

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