The European Commission’s competition law body initiated an EU competition law proceeding in connection with the operation of Facebook’s marketplace service on Friday. The organization will investigate whether the US-based community service provider infringed EU law by using advertising data from businesses advertising on the site to gain an advantage in markets where it is present with its own service, as well as competing with those advertisers.
Accordingly, the study focuses on an online marketplace service called Facebook Marketplace, where users can upload classified ads-like offers in a wide range of categories free of charge, according to a Commission communication. The Commission also wants to explore whether the close link between the Facebook community service and the Facebook Marketplace is in breach of EU competition rules.
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The investigation phase in the Commission’s formal proceedings was not even smooth, as the EU enforcement body imposed an extensive access obligation during the request for information, which Facebook refused to comply with, and the company finally sued the Commission in July 2020. . Eventually, the proceedings could be initiated with a delay of almost a year after the lawsuit was closed.
This may be the first competition law case against Facebook in the EU, but it is not unprecedented that a market player with significant influence in the sector is being examined for a similar reason. Last November, the Commission announced that an ongoing investigation had shown that Amazon used sales statistics from its marketplace partners to optimize and increase its own turnover.
Independently of the EU investigation, the UK competition authority, the CMA, has today launched a competition case against Facebook on the same subject
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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