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European Commission Launches Antitrust Probe Into Facebook

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirFILE PHOTO: Picture shows European Union flags fluttering outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: Picture shows European Union flags fluttering outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.06.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) The European Commission has announced the opening of a formal antitrust investigation against Facebook to assess if the online giant violated EU competition rules.

"The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Facebook violated EU competition rules by using advertising data gathered in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classified ads. The formal investigation will also assess whether Facebook ties its online classified ads service 'Facebook Marketplace' to its social network, in breach of EU competition rules", the commission said in a press release.

In this file photo illustration, a phone screen displays a picture of former US President Donald Trump on a Facebook website background, on May 4, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. - Facebook's independent oversight board on May 5, 2021 upheld the platform's ban on former US president Donald Trump but called for a further review of the penalty within six months. The board, whose decisions are binding on the leading social network, said Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible with his comments regarding the January 6 rampage by his supporters at the US Capitol. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.05.2021
Facebook Pledges to Defend Compliance with EU Laws Amid Irish Privacy Data Probe
European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager pledged that the commission would look in detail into whether the collected data "gives Facebook an undue competitive advantage".

According to the press release, the European Commission will cooperate closely with the UK Competition and Markets Authority, which has launched its own independent investigation into Facebook's use of data.

Introduced in 2016, Facebook Marketplace is estimated to be used by almost a billion users in 70 countries. However, the social media giant has been accused of using the data it collects from users to undermine its rivals in online advertising.

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