Britain's competition watchdog on Friday said social media giant Meta had offered to limit its use of other businesses' advertising data for its Facebook Marketplace service to address the regulator's competition concerns.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was minded to accept the commitments, which include advertisers being able to opt out of allowing their data to be used to improve the Facebook Marketplace classified ads platform.
CMA executive director of enforcement Michael Grenfell said: "Reducing the risk of Meta unfairly exploiting the data of businesses who advertise on its platform for its own competitive advantage could help many UK businesses who advertise there.
"We are now consulting on these commitments which we believe, at this stage, will address our concerns."
The CMA cited an example of Meta being able to use data derived from a user's engagement with ads on Facebook to deduce they were interested in trainers, which could then influence listings for shoes to that user on Facebook Marketplace.
A consultation on Meta's proposals will close on June 26, it said.
Earlier this week, Meta sold the animated images platform Giphy to Shutterstock for $53 million (roughly Rs. 438 crore) in cash, months after the Facebook owner had agreed to divest the company on competition concerns.
Britain's competition regulator last year ordered Meta to sell Giphy over fears that it could deny or limit competitors such as Snapchat and Twitter access to the target's content.
Meta had reportedly paid $400 million (roughly Rs. 3,300 crore) for New York-based Giphy in 2020. A year later the deal was challenged by Britain's Competition and Markets Authority and its successful campaign was the first time a regulator had forced a US tech giant to sell an already acquired company.
Back in January, Facebook had asked a London tribunal to block a collective lawsuit valued at up to GBP 3 billion (roughly Rs. 30,300 crore) over allegations the social media giant abused its dominant position to monetise users' personal data.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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