South Korea considers sanctions on Meta over user protection failures

The Korea Fair Trade Commission has sent an examination report to Meta, and the agency will decide on measures after considering the findings.

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South Korea’s antitrust agency, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC), is reportedly considering sanctions against Meta Platforms over allegations of inadequate protection for users of Facebook and Instagram marketplaces against fraudulent transactions. The FTC had previously investigated potential violations of the country’s e-commerce law and submitted an examination report to Meta in late 2023. The agency contends that Meta needs to implement more measures to safeguard and address disputes for users of these marketplaces, a requirement for e-commerce outlets.

According to reports, the FTC’s examination report is a preliminary step before the commissioners convene to evaluate the findings and formally determine the appropriate measures. While Facebook and Instagram are primarily social media platforms, their marketplaces bring them under the purview of e-commerce regulations. Despite the allegations, Meta has not yet responded to the reports, and the FTC has adhered to its policy of not commenting on ongoing investigations.

This development follows recent scrutiny in South Korea, where a consumer protection watchdog is reviewing the practices of major overseas shopping platforms, including Alibaba’s AliExpress and Temu.

The potential sanctions against Meta signal increased regulatory attention to ensure compliance with e-commerce laws and protect users in the online marketplace space.