Meta faces $11.8 billion fine for antitrust violations

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said it found Meta distorted competition in the online advertising market and breached EU antitrust rules. Meta could be fined up to $11.8 billion if convicted

If convicted, Meta could face a fine of up to $11.8 billion.

On December 19, the European Union published an objection list against Meta’s online classifieds business on Facebook Marketplace.

The European Commission ran into problems when Meta paired the Facebook Marketplace service, which allows users to list items for sale, with Meta’s personal social network, Facebook. This arrangement provides Facebook Marketplace with a “significant distribution advantage over competitors.”

Margrethe Vestager, vice-chair of the competition policy committee, said Facebook’s integration with Marketplace left users with “no choice but to go to Facebook Marketplace”.

“If substantiated, Meta’s activities would be illegal under our competition rules,” Vestager said.

Tim Lamb, Meta’s competition director for EMEA, said: “The European Commission’s claims are baseless. We will continue to work with regulators to demonstrate that our product innovations work for consumers and competition.”

The European Commission opened an investigation into Meta in June 2021 to investigate “possible anti-competitive behavior by Facebook.”

If, after a company has filed a plea, the commission still finds sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, the company could face changes in its business practices or fines of up to 10 percent of annual global sales.

That could mean fines of up to $11.8 billion for Meta, which has $117.92 billion in annual revenue in 2021. The fine would mark the latest setback for Meta, which has been under pressure from investors to turn to “metadata”.

The move comes after the European Commission concluded an investigation into a partnership between Meta and Google that allegedly hindered competition in the ad tech space. After carefully evaluating all relevant evidence, including information received from Google, Meta, and others in the technology space, the committee concluded that the evidence was untrue. real. Due to their initial concerns, it was decided to close the investigation.

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