EU accuses Meta of antitrust breaches with classified ads

Dec 18, 2022, 1:02 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2022, 6:02 am
FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on Oct. ...

FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on Oct. 28, 2021. Federal regulators open their campaign to block Facebook parent Meta's acquisition of virtual-reality company Within Unlimited and its fitness app Supernatural, with opening arguments beginning Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in San Jose, California. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

The European Union on Monday accused Facebook parent Meta of breaching antitrust rules by distorting competition in the online classified ads business, the bloc’s latest maneuver to curb the power of Big Tech companies.

In its complaint following an investigation launched last year, the EU’s executive commission took issue with the tech company tying its online classified ad business, Facebook Marketplace, to Facebook. It’s also concerned that Meta imposes unfair trading conditions on rivals “for its own benefit.”

Meta disputed the allegations.

“The claims made by the European Commission are without foundation,” Tim Lamb, Meta’s head of EMEA competition, said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to work with regulatory authorities to demonstrate that our product innovation is pro-consumer and pro-competitive.”

The company said it will study the complaints and is fully cooperating with the Commission’s investigation.

The commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, said that by tying Marketplace to its social network, Facebook users automatically have access to Marketplace “whether they want it or not,” raising concerns that competitors are shut out because the tie gives Marketplace an advantage that they can’t match.

Meta also unilaterally imposes unfair trading conditions on online classified ad rivals that advertise their services on Facebook or Instagram, the commission said. It does that through “unjustified, disproportionate” terms of service that authorize Meta to use ad-related data generated from competitors to benefit Marketplace.

When the EU and Britain last year opened twin investigations into the company’s classified business, the bloc’s competition watchdog said it suspected Facebook of collecting “vast troves of data” on its users activities that enabled it to target specific customer groups.

If confirmed, the practices would be in breach of EU rules that prevent “abuse of a dominant market position.”

The commission said it’s preliminary finding is that Meta dominates the EU’s social network market as well as the online display advertising on social media in the bloc’s national markets.

Companies that breach EU antitrust rules can be hit with fines worth up to 10% of their annual global revenue. There’s no deadline to bring the investigation to an end, and companies can plead their case in writing or in an oral hearing.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Rescue workers try to reach trapped residents in a collapsed building in Kahta, in Adiyaman provinc...
Associated Press

Live Updates | Turkey, Syria earthquake kills thousands

ADANA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of southeast Turkey and northern Syria early Monday. ___ India and South Korea are among nations sending rescue personnel and supplies after a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and northern Syria. India said it would send 100 members of its Natural Disaster […]
21 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Cong...
Associated Press

Biden aims to deliver reassurance in State of Union address

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is ready to offer a reassuring assessment of the nation’s condition rather than roll out flashy policy proposals as he delivers his second State of the Union address seeking to overcome pessimism in the country and concerns about his own leadership. His speech before a politically divided Congress comes […]
21 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Cong...
Associated Press

State of the Union? Congress doesn’t fully reflect diversity

WASHINGTON (AP) — When lawmakers gather for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, the Republican side of the aisle will look slightly different than it did a few years ago. Rather than row after row of white men in suits, the House Republican majority increasingly has added Black, Latino and female elected officials […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the Jan. 10, 2023, in L...
Associated Press

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to offer State of the Union rebuttal

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, once a White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, is set to return to the national stage when she delivers the GOP response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Sanders, 40, is giving the speech Tuesday night less than a month […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: FEB 7, Kennedy imposes Cuba embargo

Today in History Today is Tuesday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2023. There are 333 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 7, 1964, the Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to begin their first American tour. On this date: In 1857, a French court acquitted […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Logos the New York Stock Exchange adorn trading posts, on the floor, Wednesday, March 16, 20...
Associated Press

Google, Apple, Amazon give investors reason to fret

Wall Street had its eyes Friday on big tech after some of the biggest companies in the world posted lackluster quarterly financial performances.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
EU accuses Meta of antitrust breaches with classified ads