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EU launches antitrust investigation against Facebook

EU launches antitrust investigation against Facebook

As expected, EU regulators have launched an antitrust investigation into Facebook’s use of classified ads.

Regulators will try to determine whether social media companies have violated competition rules by using data from advertisers to compete with them on classified ads. The European Commission said in a statement that it violated EU rules to link its Craigslist-style market to its main platform.

Data has become the main battlefield for European regulators trying to break cross-industry information silos and encourage data sharing in the medical, agricultural, and energy sectors.

This initiative is the core of the EU data strategy proposed by the European Commission in February last year. The focus on data treasures has also led to regulatory disputes with other large technology companies.

Google’s access to sensitive health information is the main obstacle to the EU’s investigation of the Fitbit case.
Last year, after a long investigation, a deal was finally reached in December. Like the recently public Facebook case, EU regulators are also investigating Amazon’s alleged use of third-party data to promote its products.

Margrethe Vestager had clashed with tech giants during her tenure as EU competition director, and she warned that “data should not be used in a way that distorts competition.”

She said in a statement: “Nearly 3 billion people use Facebook every month, and a total of nearly 7 million companies advertise on Facebook…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.”

For its part, Facebook told Bloomberg that it would “fully cooperate with the investigation to prove that it is baseless.”
The social network is also involved in an ongoing cartel investigation in Germany. The European Union claims that it cooperates with the British cartel authorities to investigate Facebook’s data usage.

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Facebook’s online advertising service and its single sign-on feature allow users to log in to third-party applications and platforms with their Facebook credentials, which is being investigated to see if they provide them with a competitive advantage.

EU launches antitrust investigation against Facebook

image credit: Engadget

OVERVIEW:

Regulators will try to determine whether social media companies have violated competition rules by using data from advertisers to compete with them on classified ads. The social network is also involved in an ongoing cartel investigation in Germany. The European Union claims that it cooperates with the British cartel authorities to investigate Facebook’s data usage.

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