acebook faces investigations into classified ads
acebook faces investigations into classified ads

Fearing that the market would distort competition through classified ads, the European Commission and UK regulators launched an antitrust investigation into Facebook.

Regulators in the European Union and the United Kingdom are keen to find out whether Facebook is improperly using ad data to compete in the classified ad market and are cooperating with the investigation.

Margrethe Vestager, Director of Competition at the European Commission, said: “Facebook collects a lot of data about the activities of social media users and other users in order to be able to target specific groups of customers.

“We examined in detail whether this data gives Facebook an unfair competitive advantage, particularly in the online classifieds space, where people buy and sell goods every day, and in areas where Facebook also competes with companies that collect data.”

The committee said: "A preliminary investigation raised concerns that Facebook may use data from competing classified ad services advertising on its platform to compete with it."

The Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are currently conducting an in-depth formal investigation into these concerns.

The never-ending Facebook question:

In addition to market concerns and classified ads, the UK's Capital Markets Authority is also investigating Facebook dating services for similar reasons.

A Facebook spokesperson said he believed the allegations were unfounded. He added that these two services are part of a very competitive market.

He added, "We are constantly working on developing new and better services to meet the growing needs of Facebook users. The marketplace and dating services give people more choices and the two products compete with many well-established brands. We continue to fully cooperate in investigations to prove they are unfounded."

The European Commission has been reviewing Facebook's marketing services for many years. Reuters noted that European officials opened an investigation into the service in 2019. However, Facebook rejected the investigation, arguing that the EU's demands should reveal irrelevant but highly sensitive information.

The marketplace service was launched in 2016 via Facebook and enables people to buy and sell goods from locals.

It is now used by 800 million Facebook users in 70 countries. Competitors complained that Facebook was promoting the market for free to its two billion users, giving it an unfair advantage.

It should be noted that this is the first official survey of the European Union with a social network.

European companies have already launched similar anti-competition investigations against Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

At the beginning of the year, the European Union formally accused Apple of violating antitrust regulations through the App Store guidelines.

The panel said in November that Amazon misused data from sellers in overseas markets.

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