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Economic Daily News: Prevent EasyCard monopoly

Economic Daily News: Prevent EasyCard monopoly

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 4 of a daily roundup) The EasyCard that is now limited to use on Taipei MRT and bus systems will soon become an electronic purse that can be used for small-value purchases at selected stores.
The Financial Supervisory Commission has approved Taipei EasyCard Corp.'s application to join with President Chain Store Corp. in issuing i-cash EasyCards, most likely to benefit consumers or make transactions more convenient.
However, the government should not ignore the potentially adverse impact that such a decision might have on the principle of fair competition.
With the Taipei City government offering special discounts for EasyCard holders on Taipei MRT and bus fares, EasyCard Corp. will enjoy a special competitive edge in the electronic purse market.
Since the competitive edge comes from a special concession granted by the city government rather than its own management acumen, Taipei EasyCard Corp. will not compete on a level playing field with other electronic purse issuers.
With this in mind, it is very important for the government to adopt accompanying measures to prevent the company from monopolizing the domestic electronic purse market.
Such preventive measures should be in place before the i-cash EasyCard is formally launched in March. After that, the card will gain near monopoly status to its special concession from the city, and problem will be much harder to resolve.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2020-12-06 06:49 GMT+08:00