Facebook being investigated by UK and European watchdog groups

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A watchdog group from the United Kingdom and another from the European Union are investigating Facebook’s use of advertising data. The groups believe that Facebook’s use of advertising data is giving it an unfair advantage over its competition.

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The watchdog group “The Competition and Markets Authority” believes that data collected by Facebook benefits its Marketplace business and puts other similar services at a disadvantage.

Meanwhile, the watchdog group “The European Commission” looks into whether or not Facebook violated EU rules by using collected user data to compete in classified ad space.

Facebook has said that it would fully cooperate with both groups’ inquires, adding that it will “demonstrate that both the UK and EU investigations are without merit.”

The CMA said Facebook collects data through its digital advertising service as well as its single sign-on option. This allows people to sign-in to other websites, services and apps using their Facebook log-in details.

The watchdog said it is examining whether the company has unfairly used the data to compete with people and businesses who use Facebook Marketplace, where firms and users put up classified adverts to sell items, as well as Facebook Dating which was launched in Europe last year.

The European Commission said it had opened a formal antitrust investigation “to assess whether Facebook violated EU competition rules by using advertising data gathered in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classified ads”.

It said: “The formal investigation will also assess whether Facebook ties its online classified ads service “Facebook Marketplace” to its social network, in breach of EU competition rules.”

Facebook said its “Marketplace and dating offer people more choices, both products operate in highly competitive environment with many large incumbents”.

BBC News

The watchdog groups are working closely with each other as they both independently work through their individual investigations of the social media and tech giant.

What do you think of these investigations? What do you think of Facebook overall? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

Last Updated on June 4, 2021.

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