EU antitrust regulators raise more questions about Facebook’s online marketplace

According to a questionnaire seen by Reuters, anti-EU regulators want to know whether Facebook’s online marketplace unfairly benefits from its coffers, a sign that they are against the US social media giant Making a case.

The EU document sent to industry players and other parties is a follow-up to a questionnaire the European Commission sent to the same parties last August focusing on the Facebook market.

Launched in 2016, the Facebook marketplace is used by 800 million Facebook users in 70 countries to buy and sell items.

Classified ad competitors have complained to the commission that Facebook uses its market power to give it an unfair competitive advantage, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

In the latest questionnaire companies were asked about the importance of entering, growing and succeeding data as a social media platform, and how they view the reach of data with Facebook.

Regulators have also sought information about online display advertising services and online search advertising services and which advertising service providers are Facebook’s closest competitors.

They have until the end of April to answer the questionnaire.

Facebook said: “Compliance with competition rules and other legal requirements is an important consideration for Facebook as we develop our services and products. We are ready to answer any questions of the European Commission.”

The promoter of the EU competition has another separate investigation targeting Facebook’s data collection and how the company monetizes the data.

It added that the results of the latest questionnaire would be included in both investigations.

The commission said its preliminary investigation is ongoing and it cannot comment on timing or results.

The Financial Times was the first to report about the questionnaire.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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