Meta to contest EU antitrust charges in a closed hearing

Facebook owner Meta will contest EU antitrust charges at a closed hearing in a bid to avoid a hefty fine after regulators accused it of tying its classified advertisements service to its social network.

 Electronics, Phone, Mobile Phone, Text

Meta, the owner of Facebook, is gearing up to contest antitrust charges levelled against it by the EU in a closed hearing scheduled for Thursday. The EU regulators accused Meta of engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by linking its classified advertisements service, Facebook Marketplace, to its social network platform. This alleged practice is suspected of giving Meta an unfair market advantage. The EU also took issue with Meta’s imposition of unfair trading conditions on rival online classified ads services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram.

In response to the charges, Meta’s lawyer, Tim Lamb, issued a statement denying the allegations and asserting that the claims made by the European Commission are baseless. Lamb emphasised that Meta will work closely with regulatory authorities to demonstrate that their product innovation benefits consumers and promotes healthy competition.

The closed hearing will witness the participation of senior Commission antitrust officials and representatives from national watchdogs. Meta’s objective is to present arguments that will challenge the validity of the charges imposed by the EU. If Meta is found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, the company could face a substantial fine of up to 10% of its global turnover. In addition to the financial penalty, Meta may also be required to change its business practices.