In a breather to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has said that the instant messaging platform has not abused its dominant position to roll out WhatsApp Pay in the country.
WhatsApp was accused of capitalising on its large user base in India to increase the reach of its payments service.
In a case, filed in March, it was alleged that WhatsApp was bundling its digital payment function within its messaging app and forcing its users to use the service.
However, The Commission said that the payment app in now in its beta version and currently caters to less than 1% of its users in the country.
Therefore, the watchdog finds the allegations “premature” and said that the firm’s “actual conduct is yet to manifest in the market”.
Moreover, the regulator also pointed out that in the presence of several competitors in the payments space in India, it is “implausible that WhatsApp Pay will automatically garner a market share merely on account of its pre-installation”.
WhatsApp’s key competitors in the Indian payment space are Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay.
CCI said: “The Commission observes that Facebook and WhatsApp undeniably deal with customer sensitive data which is amenable to misuse and may raise potential antitrust concerns among other data protection issues. However, in the present case, the Informant has only alleged that WhatsApp/Facebook have access to data which they are using for doing targeted advertising.
“There is neither any concrete allegation, nor any specific information to support the competition concern of the Informant. In the absence thereof, there is nothing on record which the Commission can examine.”