The European Commission wants to investigate whether Facebook misuses advertisers’ data to compete with those same advertisers with its ad platform.
Facebook is used by nearly three billion people every month, and nearly seven million businesses advertise on Facebook. Facebook collects large amounts of data about users’ activities on its network and beyond, allowing it to target specific customer groups,” said EU Competition Commissioner Marghrethe Vestager.
“We’re going to look in detail at whether that data gives Facebook an undue advantage, specifically in the classifieds sector, where people buy and sell things daily and where Facebook competes with companies from which it collects data. In today’s digital economy, data should not be used to distort competition.’
These are advertisers with which Facebook itself competes. Think of an ad site that advertises on Facebook so that Facebook itself knows which audience that site is targeting and so that it can adjust its Marketplace ad department itself.
The Commission will also work closely with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct a similar investigation.