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Europe, UK hit Facebook with formal antitrust investigations

Mount Equity Group Tokyo Japan > News > Business > Europe, UK hit Facebook with formal antitrust investigations

Regulators in Europe and the United Kingdom on Friday announced they have launched formal competition investigations into Facebook in a two-front offensive on the social media giant’s use of data to dominate markets.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said it’s investigating whether Facebook is “abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of advertising data.”

Specifically, the agency said it’s probing whether Facebook has gained an unfair advantage in the digital classified advertisements business through Facebook Marketplace, and in its online dating business, Facebook Dating.

Separately, regulators in Brussels announced that the European Commission is also opening a formal antitrust investigation into the social media giant.

“We intend to thoroughly investigate Facebook’s use of data to assess whether its business practices are giving it an unfair advantage in the online dating and classified ad sectors,” said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her first State of the Union speech of 2020 in Brussels, Belgium, where regulators will be probing Facebook.NurPhoto via Getty Images

“We will be working closely with the European Commission as we each investigate