European Union antitrust investigators are set to deliver Meta’s Facebook a slew of charges for anti-competitive practices on its marketplace platform, two people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.
The sources spoke on the condition of confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of the case. According to the insiders, Facebook parent Meta will face a statement of objections from the European Commission.
The statement will outline how the organization may be leveraging Facebook in its classified ads service known as Marketplace, asserting that these actions amount to abuse of dominance.
What the authorities are looking into
EU authorities will also investigate how data acquired by Facebook from its advertisers may be used to favour Marketplace unjustly over other services.
In recent weeks, authorities have urged Facebook’s competitors to submit evidence of misuse to the Commission to determine the most detrimental activity of Marketplace.
According to the sources, the Commission will issue the charges well before the Christmas holiday. EU antitrust officials have been looking into Facebook Marketplace since July 2021.
Facebook is no stranger to charges
It’s the first time the EU has targeted Meta for alleged abuse of dominance. The organization is being investigated in the United Kingdom on identical grounds. Meta was previously fined €110 million for giving false or inaccurate information during the EU’s 2014 probe into the firm’s relationship with WhatsApp.
In addition, the organization is being investigated in Brussels over the so-called Jedi Blue contract with Google, which the Commission believes may have affected competition in the ad tech sector. POLITICO contacted European Commission and Meta representatives for a response, but both declined to comment.