UK and EU Antitrust Authorities Launch Facebook Investigation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at the European Parliament, prior to his audition on the data privacy scandal on May 22, 2018 at the European Union headquarters in Brussels. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

The European Commission and Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority have both launched investigations focused on Facebook Marketplace to determine if Mark Zuckerberg’s company uses data from advertisers to compete with them.

NBC News reports that the European Union and the United Kingdom have both launched antitrust investigations into Facebook’s use of advertising data in its online sales marketplace, which could result in Facebook being forced to change its business model as well as face fines.

The European Commission and Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority are reportedly investigating whether Facebook users data from advertisers to compete with them. The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has battled with Facebook over antitrust issues multiple times in the past.

Vestager has fined tech firms like Google $9.7 billion over antitrust issues and is currently investigating Amazon and Apple. Vestager reportedly plans to focus on Facebook’s collection of data from the near 7 million companies that advertise on the platform.

“We will look in detail at whether this data gives Facebook an undue competitive advantage in particular on the online classified ads sector, where people buy and sell goods every day, and where Facebook also competes with companies from which it collects data,” she said. Vestager added: “In today’s digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition.”

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority also announced an investigation into whether Facebook is abusing its dominant position in social media or digital advertising through its collection and use of data. Facebook stated that it plans to fully cooperate with both the EU and the UK investigation to “demonstrate that they are without merit.”

Facebook said its “marketplace and dating offer people more choices, both products operate in highly competitive environment with many large incumbents.”

Read more at NBC News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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