The plaintiffs, brought together by an expert in competition law, are about to attack Meta, the parent company of Facebook, for abuse of a dominant position.
Facebook is facing further difficulties, this time for an alleged violation of UK competition law. Under the leadership of Lisa Lovdahl Gormsen, PhD in international competition law, a collective complaint was officially filed on January 13 before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London (a court specializing in cases relating to economic regulation and competition) . This aims to convict the Meta group for abuse of a dominant position. The plaintiffs are demanding a conviction to the tune of 2.3 billion pounds sterling (approximately 2.8 billion euros).
By exploiting the personal data of its users, Facebook engages in an abuse of a dominant position, in the eyes of Lisa Lovdahl Gormsen
The complaint is filed on behalf of British Facebook users against its parent company, Meta, which they accuse of engaging in an abuse of a dominant position by having illegally exploited the personal data of the network’s 44 million members social in recent years, between 2015 and 2019 more precisely.
The legal expert Lisa Lovdahl Gormsen, at the origin of the complaint, explains through the filed file that the firm of Mark Zuckerberg has abused its dominant position by imposing unfair terms and conditions on users, to exploit their data. personal.
The file accuses the giant Meta of having violated the Competition Act of 1998, indicating that the price paid by British users was unfair. This price is the private data transmitted by citizens, which then allows Facebook to generate the majority of its income, by engaging in targeted advertising.
For the complainants, Facebook is not a free social network
Price, advertising, income… And the users in all this, what did they receive in return? This is precisely what is at stake in the complaint, which denounces a lack of fairness for users who are in a way forced to give full access to their personal data, in order to be able to have free access to the social network, access which becomes free. only symbolically therefore, the personal information left on the platform feeding the group’s economic model. And this is what constitutes, in the eyes of the lawyer, an abuse of a dominant position, in that users have no other choice but to comply with Facebook’s policy.
In a statement relayed to AFP, a spokesperson for Meta recalls that “ people access our service for free. They choose it because it provides them with a valuable service and they have significant control over the information they share with Meta’s platforms and with whom “. Without forgetting, in the defense of Facebook, that the user accepts the collection of his data at the time of registration.
A complaint on behalf of all Brits, and a forthcoming lawsuit in the United States
The complaint, in a case that concerns both the protection of personal data and competition, claims 2.8 billion euros to be able to properly compensate the 44 million British users of Facebook, who are in law, according to the complaint , to receive a monetary reward for helping to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the California group. The 44 million users are, via this procedure, directly represented through the complaint.
At the same time, Meta is the subject of a charge of dominant position, this time in the United States (for the acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram in particular, which were allegedly carried out to smash potential future competitors of Facebook). Deemed admissible by the federal judge, the complaint from the equivalent of the American Competition Authority should well lead to a trial.
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