Facebook faces class action in UK over market dominance abuse

Social media giant Meta, previously known as Facebook, is facing a US$3.2 billion class action in the UK over claims of market dominance abuse. The case comes just a few days after Facebook lost an attempt to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Liza Lovdahl-Gormsen, a senior adviser to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog and a competition law academic, said she was presenting the case on behalf of Britons who had used Facebook between 2015 and 2019, which accounted for up to 44 million users.

According to a Reuters report, the lawsuit accuses Facebook of exploiting the personal data of its users and making billions of pounds out of it. The social media platform has otherwise claimed that its users “have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with”.

“There was a dark side to Facebook; it abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons, giving it the power to exploit their personal data,” said Lovdahl-Gormsen. “They are exploiting users by taking their personal data without properly compensating them for taking that data.”

Lovdahl-Gormsen further claimed that Facebook collected data within its platform and through mechanisms like the Facebook Pixel which allows the platform to build an “all-seeing picture” of its users’ internet usage.

Based on these valuable deep data profiles, advertisers are able to target specific demographics and consumers, generating 98% of the platform’s income worldwide.

The law firm representing Lovdahl Gormsen in this class action, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, has notified Facebook of the claim. The case will be heard by London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal in London as an opt-out case.

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