The European Union on Monday accused Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms of violating antitrust rules by distorting competition in the online classified ads business.
In a complaint following an investigation launched last year, the EU’s executive commission raised the issue of the tech company’s closing of Facebook Marketplace, its online classified advertising business, to Facebook. It is also concerned that Meta imposes unfair trading conditions on its competitors “for its own benefit”.
Meta denied the allegations.
“The allegations made by the European Commission are unfounded,” Meta’s head of EMEA competition, Tim Lamb, said in a statement. “We will continue to work with regulators to demonstrate that our product innovation is consumer and competitive.”
The company said it will investigate the complaints and is cooperating fully with the investigation.
The commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust watchdog, said that by tying Marketplace to its social network, Facebook users automatically gain access to Marketplace, raising concerns about foreclosing on competitors because the tie gives Marketplace an advantage it can’t match. .
The commission said that Meta unilaterally imposes unfair trading conditions on online classified advertising competitors who advertise their services on Facebook or Instagram. It does this through its terms of service, which allow Meta to use advertising-related data obtained from competitors to benefit the Marketplace.