Facebook faces a £2.3bn UK class action lawsuit over dominance

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Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms, is facing a £2.3 billion (approx.

Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a senior adviser to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulator and competition law researcher, said she is bringing the case on behalf of people in the UK who used Facebook between 2015 and 2019.

The lawsuit, which is being heard before the London Competition Appeal Tribunal, claims Facebook made billions of pounds by imposing unfair terms and conditions that required consumers to give up valuable personal information to gain access to the network.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law firm representing Lovdahl Gormsen, has notified Facebook of the lawsuit.

Facebook said people used its services because it offered them value and “they have meaningful control over what information they share and with whom on Meta’s platforms.”

The case comes days after Facebook lost an attempt to enforce a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust lawsuit, one of the US government’s biggest challenges against a tech company in decades, as Washington seeks to address big tech’s sweeping market power.

“In the 17 years since its inception, Facebook has become the only social network in the UK where you can be sure to connect with friends and family in one place,” said Lovdahl Gornsen.

“Nonetheless, Facebook also had a dark side; it has abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons and give it the power to exploit their personal data.”

Lovdahl Gormsen claims that Facebook has collected data within its platform and through mechanisms such as the Facebook pixel, allowing it to create an “all-seeing picture” of internet usage and create valuable, deep data profiles of users.

Opt-out class actions, such as Lovdahl Gormsen’s, automatically bind a defined group into one action unless individuals opt out.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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