The European Commission has filed a complaint against Meta for a possible breach of its EU antitrust law citing its anti-competitive practices in the markets for online classified ads, per a report by CNBC.
The EU’s executive arm on Monday issued Facebook's parent company, Meta, a list of objections over its online classifieds business, Facebook Marketplace, particularly about its pairing of the Facebook Marketplace service, which lets users list items for sale, with its personal social network, Facebook.
The Commission which opened an investigation into Meta in June 2021, looking into “possible anticompetitive conduct of Facebook", said it was concerned this arrangement gives Facebook Marketplace a “substantial distribution advantage that competitors cannot match.”
Margrethe Vestager, EU Antitrust Commissioner, said the tie-up of Facebook with Marketplace gives users “no choice but to have access to Facebook Marketplace.”
Responding to the charges, Meta's head of competition for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said, "The claims made by the European Commission are without foundation. We will continue to work with regulatory authorities to demonstrate that our product innovation is pro-consumer and pro-competitive."
If Meta is found guilty, the tech giant could face a fine of up to 10% of its annual global revenue, based on its 2021 figures, which means the Facebook-parent company could pay up to $11.8 billion.
However, the statement of objections issued by the EU commission to the tech giant is a formal step in its competition investigations and does not prejudge the outcome of a probe.