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The European Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have both launched antitrust investigations into how Facebook uses data from advertisers to compete with them.
Brussels focuses its investigation on how Facebook uses the data for its “Marketplace” service, where Facebook users can buy and sell goods from one another. Not only is London exploring Facebook’s marketplace, but how it uses the data for Facebook Dating – the dating profile service it launched in Europe in 2020.
“Facebook collects huge amounts of data about the activities of the users,” said EU Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. “We will examine in detail whether this data gives Facebook an unjustified competitive advantage.”
UK competition leader Andrea Cocelli said, “Such an advantage can make competing companies, including new and smaller companies, more difficult to succeed and limit customer choice.”
“We will work closely with the European Commission to investigate these issues,” added Cocelli.
Facebook said it will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigation to show that it is unfounded”.
“Marketplace and dating give people more choice and both products operate in a highly competitive environment with many large established companies,” the company said.
The European Commission had previously initiated antitrust investigations against Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple. This is the social networking company’s first formal investigation.
A person familiar with the matter previously told POLITICO that Brussels had started investigating the Facebook marketplace following a complaint from a “Scandinavian media group”.