The European Commission has launched an investigation into whether Facebook uses advertising data from other companies to compete with it. On the one hand, these companies advertise on Facebook, but at the same time they are competitors to the platform, according to the commission. A similar investigation has been opened in the UK.
In the investigation, the commission will consider whether Facebook’s position allows the company to cut out competitors. “Facebook collects large amounts of user data on and off its own network so that it can target specific groups,” said Margrethe Versteger, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for digital affairs. “In today’s digital economy, data should not be used to thwart competitors.”
This concerns, for example, the so-called classified ads, which are often used to sell products. The panel believes that Facebook can use data from competitors to improve its sales service, Marketplace. In addition, the panel will consider whether the way Marketplace integrates with the social network offers a certain advantage in reaching consumers over competing parties.
In response, Facebook said it would “fully cooperate with investigations to show that they are unfounded.”
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