The European Commission has concluded that Meta, Facebook's parent company, has broken the rules of Competition in the European Union abusing a dominant position in Marketplace and has demanded explanations.
The department headed by Magrethe Vestager announced the accusation on Monday, arguing that she "is concerned that the company is imposing unfair business conditions on competitors."
The company now has to present allegations to dismantle the Brussels accusation.
The investigation into Meta was announced a year and a half ago on suspicion that the company that runs Mark Zuckerberg was manipulating the market in his favor and breaking the rules of Competition in the single market.
Some 18 months later he has confirmed his intuition.
“Meta links its online classifieds service Facebook Marketplace with its dominant personal social network Facebook.
This means that Facebook users automatically have access to the Facebook Marketplace whether they want it or not.
The Commission is concerned that Facebook Marketplace's competitors may be excluded, as the link gives Facebook Marketplace a substantial distribution advantage that competitors cannot match.
This first accusation is completed with another one that also goes against the companies with which it competes: “Meta unilaterally imposes unfair commercial conditions on competing online classifieds services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram.
[...] Such conditions impose a burden on competitors and only benefit Facebook Marketplace”.
With these conclusions, the head of EU Competition, Vice President Vestager, has indicated that the preliminary opinion of her department is that "Facebook users have no choice but to access Facebook Marketplace."
Not only Meta has had to face these types of accusations.
Amazon, the great giant of electronic commerce, also faces similar investigations for favoring its products using the data of its competitors: it detects what is the best seller on its platform and accumulates its own
That file could be about to be completed, as the Financial Times newspaper reported a few weeks ago that the Community Executive and the company run by Jeff Bezos were finalizing an agreement.
If the investigation into Meta finally ends in a sanction, the company from Palo Alto (California) will join a list in which the big American technology companies play a leading role, especially Alphabet-Google.
Among the five largest fines that the European Union has imposed for breaking Competition rules, this company appears on three occasions, with a total amount of 7,250 million euros.
Apple also has open investigations for abuse of a dominant position, in this case for its payment service.
From now on, the period opens for the investigated entities to present their allegations in writing and orally.
If despite this, the EU antitrust authorities consider that Meta is guilty, something for which there is no set deadline, the technology company may face a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover (about 45,000 million euros). euros in 2021).