Facebook Marketplace Under Scrutiny From European Commission – Report

Image credit: European Commission

Facebook’s online marketplace is reportedly being looked at Europe’s competition watchdog

Facebook’s marketplace is under scrutiny from EU antitrust regulators, the European Commission, it has been reported.

Reuters has seen a questionnaire that is seeking details about its role in relation to online classified ads.

Although this is not a formal investigation yet, the move will worry Facebook executives, as the European Commission is also said to be asking questions about Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency.

Information gathering

Facebook Marketplace was launched back in 2016b and is reportedly used by more than one in three Facebook users in the United States to buy and sell items.

But its classified ads competitors have complained that Facebook has used its market power to give it an unfair competitive advantage, Reuters reported people familiar with the matter as saying.

And it seems they have taken their grievances to the Commission, triggering the EU competition watchdog’s interest.

The Commission has reportedly sent multiple questionnaires to various parties since June, with the latest sent out in September.

Companies were asked whether they see Facebook Marketplace as a close rival in online classified ads services and how many visits to their sites came from online classified ads placed in Facebook’s site, Reuters reported.

Regulators also wanted to know how the market has developed over the past five years and the commercial ties between Facebook and its rivals.

Strong performance

Despite another year of regulatory pressure and scandals, Facebook this week demonstrated that despite all the problems it has faced, it hasn’t impacted its fiscal performance.

The social networking giant continued to grow its lucrative mobile advertising business, and the number of active users also continued to rise.

Earlier this week Facebook agreed to drop its appeal against the half a million pound fine by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), over its role in the Cambridge Analytica data sharing scandal in 2018.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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