The U.K.’s competition watchdog said Friday it has accepted proposals from Meta’s Facebook and Amazon that are meant to prevent the tech giants from abusing their dominance to gain an unfair advantage in the online marketplace.
According to a Nov. 2 TechCrunch report, the Competition and Markets Authority said Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has agreed to limit how it uses data gathered from advertising on Facebook to boost its Facebook Marketplace classifieds service. Amazon also made commitments to allow independent sellers on its platform to choose their own delivery services, the CMA said.
The probe into Facebook’s leveraging began last year
The regulator opened a probe into Facebook last year amid concern that the social media company was unfairly leveraging its dominance to beat competition in the online classified ads market. The watchdog said Facebook agreed to make changes to address its concerns, including a tool allowing other companies to opt out of Facebook using their data to improve services that compete with theirs.
“Meta will implement technical systems to prevent the use of certain competitor advertising data” when operating Facebook Marketplace, the CMA wrote in a statement. Amazon said it would give sellers on its platform a choice of delivery services for Prime members and ensure they can negotiate their own prices with delivery firms.
These U.S. tech giants may face more unfair competition probes
The European Union, the U.K., and the U.S. are all also considering new rules to curb the power of big tech companies.
The CMA opened its probe into Amazon last year amid concerns it was abusing its dominance in e-commerce to undermine rivals in some markets, such as third-party sellers, groceries, and “buy boxes.” But investigators now say they have secured enough new assurances from Amazon that it will modify its business practices to put an end to their probe without issuing any fines. The regulator said it has not reached a conclusion on whether either company broke competition rules.
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