The European Union has accused Meta Platforms, Inc. of breaching antitrust rules by allegedly distorting competition in the markets for online classified ads. In preliminary findings published on Monday, the bloc’s Commission said it “takes issue with Meta
tying its online classified ads service, Facebook Marketplace, to its personal social network, Facebook.
“The Commission is also concerned that Meta is imposing unfair trading conditions” on Facebook Marketplace’s competitors for its own benefit,” according to the statement. The EU said it believed that Meta “abused its dominant position in two ways.” First, Meta tying Facebook Marketplace with its dominant personal social network Facebook means “that users of Facebook automatically have access to Facebook Marketplace, whether they want it or not,” said the EU. It also noted concern that competitors of Facebook’s Marketplace could not match its substantial distribution advantage. “Second, Meta unilaterally imposes unfair trading conditions on competing online classified ads services which advertise on Facebook or Instagram,” the EU said. The Commission voiced concern that the terms and conditions Meta applies authorizing it to use ads-related data derived from competitors for the benefit of Facebook Marketplace, “are unjustified, disproportionate and not necessary for the provision of online display advertising services on Meta’s platforms.” Such conditions, said the EU, impose a burden on competitors and only bene …