UK and EU launch antitrust investigations into Facebook

Regulators in Brussels and the UK have launched official competition investigations into Facebook, in a joint attack on the social media company’s use of customer data to dominate core markets such as digital advertising.

In a statement on Friday, the UK Competition and Markets Authority said it was investigating whether Facebook had been “abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of advertising data”.

Separately, Brussels said it was opening a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Facebook was violating EU law “by using advertising data collected in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classifieds”.

The EU investigation will also look at whether Facebook links online classifieds service Facebook Marketplace to its social network, in violation of EU competition rules.

Confirmation of the two investigations follows reports in the Financial Times that it will focus on the way the social media company uses customer data.

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