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Facebook Hit With New Antitrust Investigation Over Use of Ad Data

Launching the probe, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager marks her latest fight with one of the US tech giants.

Updated
Tech and Auto
1 min read
The European Union and UK on Friday launched formal antitrust investigations to check whether Facebook uses data from advertisers to compete with them.
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The European Union and UK on Friday, 4 June, launched formal antitrust investigations to check whether Facebook uses data from advertisers to compete with them.

The commission said that it has launched a probe to investigate whether the company misuses the advertising data. It will also check if the company unfairly ties its ‘Marketplace’ small ad service to the social network.

Launching the probe, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager marks her latest fight with one of the US tech giants.

Earlier, she had also slapped more than EUR 8 billion (roughly Rs 70,720 crore) fine on Alphabet unit Google and is also investigating Amazon and Apple.

"We will look in detail at whether this data gives Facebook an undue competitive advantage in particular on the online classified ads sector, where people buy and sell goods every day, and where Facebook also competes with companies from which it collects data," she said. "In today's digital economy, data should not be used in ways that distort competition," Vestager said.

Facebook said it will cooperate fully with both the EU and UK investigations "to demonstrate that they are without merit".

It said its "marketplace and dating offer people more choices, both products operate in highly competitive environment with many large incumbents".

Meanwhile, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call in April that commerce ads continue to do very well and drive ‘a meaningful amount of our overall business’. He said "more than 1 billion people now visit Facebook Marketplace each month".

(With inputs from Reuters)

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