Meta to Contest EU Antitrust Charges in Closed Hearing

Meta to Contest EU Antitrust Charges in Closed Hearing

Facebook owner Meta is set to contest antitrust charges brought by the European Union (EU) at a closed hearing, as it seeks to avoid a substantial fine. The charges accuse Meta of linking its classified advertisements service to its social network, thereby giving it an unfair advantage. The EU’s charge sheet, issued last December, highlighted two specific practices that demonstrated Meta’s abuse of its market power.

Unfair Advantage through Tying of Services

One of the practices outlined in the charge sheet is Meta’s tying of its online classified ads service, Facebook Marketplace, to its social network. By doing so, Meta allegedly provided an unfair advantage to Facebook Marketplace. This practice effectively limited competition and hindered the growth of rival online classified ads services.

Unfair Trading Conditions for Rivals

Additionally, the EU took issue with Meta’s imposition of unfair trading conditions on rival online classified ads services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram. These conditions further exacerbated the anti-competitive behavior, as Meta allegedly used its dominant position in the market to stifle competition.

Meta’s Response and Potential Consequences

Ahead of the closed hearing, Meta’s lawyer, Tim Lamb, stated that the claims made by the European Commission are baseless. Lamb emphasized Meta’s commitment to working with regulatory authorities and showcasing the pro-consumer and pro-competitive nature of its product innovation.

If found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules, Meta could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover. Additionally, the company may be required to make significant changes to its business practices. It is worth noting that Meta had previously attempted to reach a settlement in this case, according to insider sources.

Overall, Meta’s appearance at the closed hearing signifies the company’s determination to challenge the EU’s antitrust charges. The outcome of the hearing will have significant implications for Meta’s future operations within the EU market.


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