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European authorities to investigate Facebook competition and data collection protocols

The European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority are both opening a formal competition investigation into Facebook. This came out on Friday.

The social media company may have violated European rules by using advertisers ‘ advertising data to compete with them in markets where Facebook itself operates, such as classified ads.

Facebook Facebook will also assess whether Facebook links its online advertising service ‘Facebook Marketplace ‘ to its social network, which is also in breach of EU competition rules.

Following a preliminary investigation, the Commission fears that Facebook may distort competition for online advertising services. Facebook Facebook could, for example, receive accurate information about user preferences of advertising activities from competitors and use such data to adapt Facebook Marketplace, according to the Commission.

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager pointed out that almost 3 billion people and almost 7 million companies use Facebook ads every month.

“The European Commission will seek to work closely with the CMA as the Independent Investigations develop,” the Commission said in a statement on Friday.

Opening a formal investigation does not mean that Facebook will eventually be found guilty as well. In a response to Dow Jones Newswires, a spokesperson said that Facebook “will continue to cooperate with the investigations to prove that they are unfounded.”

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