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Meta’s antitrust challenge rejected by EU court

TL;DR

  • The General Court of Europe upheld the European Commission’s requests for information from Meta in relation to its ongoing investigation into Facebook’s data handling and online marketplace activities.
  • The company, which had criticized the Commission’s data requests as overly extensive, failed to demonstrate that the requests exceeded what was necessary or didn’t adequately protect sensitive data, the Court ruled.
  • Meta is now considering its options following the ruling, which it can appeal to the European Union Court of Justice.

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, suffered a blow on Wednesday when the General Court of Europe validated the European Commission’s requests for information pertaining to its investigation into Facebook’s data handling and online marketplace activities.

This decision dealt a significant setback to the tech behemoth, which had been vocally critical of the Commission’s inquiry, comparing it to an overly aggressive trawling operation.

Meta faces intense scrutiny in Europe

The ruling by the Luxembourg-based General Court countered Meta’s claims that the Commission’s requests for documentation, identified through specific search terms, were excessive.

In its response, the Court stated, “Meta Platforms Ireland has not successfully demonstrated that the request to provide documents to be identified by search terms went beyond what was necessary.”

This ruling underscores the increasing scrutiny facing the tech giant, and indeed the broader tech sector, within the European Union. The region has positioned itself as a global leader in digital rights and data protection, enforcing stringent regulations to ensure tech companies adhere to fair and ethical data practices.

Furthermore, the Court negated Meta’s assertion that the establishment of a virtual data room didn’t offer adequate protection for sensitive personal data.

You might be interested in: Meta slapped with massive $1.3B fine for EU-U.S. data transfers – Cryptopolitan

The Court’s ruling adds to the regulatory pressure on the company, which is already grappling with similar probes and lawsuits in the United States and other regions.

Response and possible appeal

Despite the setback, a Meta spokesperson stated the company was “considering its options” following the court ruling. The company can still appeal the ruling on points of law to the European Union Court of Justice, the highest court in Europe.

In a statement, the Meta spokesperson also highlighted their willingness to cooperate with the regulators, saying, “We also welcome the Court-established virtual data room, which recognized that purely private information – including personal medical files – has no relevance to any competition investigation.”

The tech giant further noted that it had already submitted more than a million documents since 2019, even as it expressed doubts about the necessity and proportionality of the data requests. This sentiment is echoed by an increasing number of companies that have begun to criticize such requests.

The ongoing case, labeled T-451/20 Meta Platforms Ireland v Commission & T-452/20 Meta Platforms Ireland v Commission, marks a crucial juncture in the EU’s regulatory stance on tech firms and their data practices.

While the result of any potential appeal remains uncertain, this case illustrates the continued challenges faced by tech giants like Meta in navigating the complex regulatory landscape of the digital era.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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