LONDON — The European Union today accused Facebook parent Meta of breaching the bloc’s antitrust rules by distorting competition in the online classified ads business.
The bloc’s executive commission said today that it “takes issue” with the tech company tying its online classified ad business, Facebook Marketplace, to Facebook.
That means Facebook users automatically have access to Marketplace “whether they want it or not,” the European Commission said.
The commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, said Meta also imposes unfair trading conditions on competing online classified ad companies that advertise their services on Facebook or Instagram.
Meta didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.
The EU’s competition watchdog and its British counterpart last year opened twin investigations into the company’s classified business.
If confirmed, the practices would be in breach of EU rules that prevent “abuse of a dominant market position.”
The commission said it’s preliminary finding is that Meta dominates the EU’s social network market as well as the online display advertising on social media in the bloc’s national markets.
Companies that breach EU antitrust rules can be hit with fines worth up to 10% of their annual global revenue.