Germany’s cartel office regulator has initiated proceedings against PayPal, a leading digital payment company, over the possibility that it hindered competition.
The regulator is investigating in particular rules that say merchants may not offer their goods and services at a lower price to customers who choose a cheaper payment method than PayPal.
PayPal demands that sellers do not express a preference for other payment methods or make their use more convenient for customers, according to the antitrust watchdog.
“These clauses could restrict competition and constitute a violation of the prohibition of abuse,” said cartel office chief Andreas Mundt in a statement.
“We will now examine what market power PayPal has and to what extent online merchants are dependent on offering PayPal as a payment method.”
Changes to Germany’s antitrust laws for digital corporations, which came into effect in 2021, give the cartel office more power in identifying and prohibiting some companies’ dominant positions.
The authority has previously initiated proceedings against Amazon and Facebook.