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On Monday, the European Commission’s antitrust watchdogs sent a statement of objection to Meta Inc. for abusive practices including limiting the ability of Facebook Marketplace competitors to compete with the social media giant.

“The Commission preliminary finds that Meta is dominant in the market for personal social networks, which is across Europe, as well as the national markets for online display advertising on social media,” the Commission wrote in the statement. “The Commission preliminarily finds that Meta abused its dominant positions.”

The European Commission then went on to explain how Meta has abused its power as such a dominant member of the social media marketplace as a growing antitrust movement develops in both the E.U. and the U.S.

“First, Meta ties its online classified ads service Facebook Marketplace with its dominant personal social network Facebook,” the Commission wrote. “This means that users of Facebook automatically have access to Facebook Marketplace, whether they want it or not. The Commission is concerned that competitors of Facebook Marketplace may be foreclosed as the tie gives Facebook Marketplace a substantial distribution advantage that competitors cannot match.”

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“Second, Meta unilaterally imposes unfair trading conditions on competing online classified ads services which advertise on Facebook or Instagram,” the statement explained, adding that the Commission “is concerned that the terms and conditions, which authorise Meta to use ads-related data derived from competitors for the benefit of Facebook Marketplace, are unjustified, disproportionate and not necessary for the provision of online display advertising services on Meta’s platforms. Such conditions impose a burden on competitors and only benefit Facebook Marketplace.”

In a statement, Meta disputed the allegations: “The claims made by the European Commission are without foundation,” stated Tim Lamb, Meta’s head of EMEA competition, per PBS. “We will continue to work with regulatory authorities to demonstrate that our product innovation is pro-consumer and pro-competitive.”

In response to the news, Meta’s share price fell nearly three and a half percent on Monday adding to the already devastating 65 percent decrease in share price over the past year, according to MSN.

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The European Commission has been investigating Meta since 2019 and the company has attempted to create roadblocks via lawsuits ever since. Despite its best efforts though, it seems like regulators are finally catching up with the behemoth. 

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