Facebook Marketplace, the EU Antitrust wand Meta: abuse of dominant position

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Half it would have violated EU Antitrust rules distorting competition in the markets for advertising classified online. Is this ‘thepreliminary opinion” of the European Commission about the link between Facebook Marketplacewhere you can buy and sell goods, and the social network Facebook. Furthermore, the Commission fears that Meta is imposing unfair trading terms to Facebook Marketplace competitors to take advantage of it.

The EU says Meta is “dominant” in the social network market across Europe and national online social media advertising markets. A position that Meta allegedly abused in two ways, the first linking Facebook Marketplace to Facebook. “This means that Facebook users automatically have access to the Facebook Marketplacewhether they like it or not. The Commission is concerned that Facebook Marketplace’s competitors could be hampered as the bond gives Facebook Marketplace an edge of substantial distribution that competitors cannot match”.

The other element of concern for the EU is that Meta “unilaterally imposes unfair trading conditions to competing online classifieds services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram. The Commission fears that the terms and conditions, which authorize Meta to use competitor-derived ad data to the benefit of the Facebook Marketplace, be it unjustified, disproportionate and unnecessary to provide online display advertising services on Meta platforms. Such conditions impose a burden on competitors and only benefit the Facebook Marketplace“.

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The Commission thus sent a “Statement of Objections” to Meta, or a written letter with the objections raised against him. This is “a formal step in the Commission’s investigation into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules”. Meta will be able to examine the EU documentation, respond in writing and request an oral hearing to comment on the case before representatives of the Commission and national competition authorities.

Whether the Commission will conclude that there is sufficient evidence of an infringementwill be able to adopt a decision prohibiting the behavior and inflicting a fine “up to 10% of the company’s annual worldwide turnover”.. Meta closed 2021 with revenues of $117.9 billion.

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