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Facebook faces antitrust investigation in the UK and EU

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and European Commission allege Facebook of unfair data usage.

Facebook faces antitrust investigation in the UK and EU

Facebook is under serious allegations by UK and EU regulators over the unfair use of data in digital advertising. The investigation will be looking to find out whether Facebook has been utilizing the data to grow their platforms Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Dating.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated in an official statement that Facebook has been using the data to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors which is in violation of the EU competition rules:

“Facebook collects vast troves of data on the activities of users of its social network and beyond, enabling it to target specific customer groups. 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. In today’s digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition.”

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), extended her support to the European Commission and issued a probe into Facebook’s unjust data advantage:

“We intend to thoroughly investigate Facebook’s use of data to assess whether its business practices are giving it an unfair advantage in the online dating and classified ad sectors. Any such advantage can make it harder for competing firms to succeed, including new and smaller businesses, and may reduce customer choice. We will be working closely with the European Commission as we each investigate these issues, as well as continuing our coordination with other agencies to tackle these global issues.”

CMA further highlights that Facebook gathers data using the digital advertising services which helps other businesses to use ads to reach out to Facebook users. This makes it easier for users to simply complete a one-step Facebook sign in to access other websites as well.