Meta has “distorted competition”, according to Brussels

The vice is narrowing around Meta (parent company of Facebook) The European Commission announced on Monday that it considers, on a preliminary basis, that the American internet giant has breached the rules of the European Union “ by distorting competition in online advertising markets”.

Read alsoMeta will soon be heavily condemned in Europe: “An unprecedented attack on the heart of its business”

Risk of abuse of dominant position

Facebook, which is completely free for its users, has generated almost all of its revenue from the sale of advertising space. Through the massive collection and monetization of its users’ personal data, Mark Zuckerberg’s group has built an online advertising empire. It thus allows advertisers to know very finely the tastes and interests of Internet users to offer them targeted advertising.

Or, when companies advertise their services on Facebook, they may also be in direct competition with the platform and thus may provide it with commercially valuable data. Facebook could then use that data to compete with companies that provided, the Commission fears. The latter therefore sought to determine whether this mountain of data gives the American giant “ an unfair competitive advantage, especially in the online ads industry, where people buy and sell goods every day and where Facebook also competes with companies from which it collects data”, explained in June 2021, the executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager. If this were to be the case, Meta would then be in abuse of a dominant position.

Online maps: Meta, Microsoft, TomTom, and Amazon Web join forces against Google

Meta (Facebook, Instagram,…), Microsoft, TomTom, and Amazon Web Services announced last Thursday the creation of the Overture Maps Foundation, which aims to make available free of charge the data necessary for the construction of geographical maps online. A market dominated by Alphabet and its subsidiary Google with Google Maps, which allows it to sell its services to other companies or platforms and to use its location and navigation capabilities to reinforce its other products, including online advertising.

The purpose of this alliance: to make cartographic data available to the general public so that they can be used by perhaps. The coalition hopes to release its first map datasets by mid-2023. Overture map data will be open source.

(With AFP)