Meta investigation concludes with record-breaking 1.2 billion lira fine

META, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has been hit with a hefty fine by the Competition Board for anti-competitive practices. The fine, amounting to a total of 898 million liras, was imposed due to META’s actions that were deemed to hinder the activities of its competitors in the social networking services and online display advertising markets.

The Competition Board’s investigation found that META was combining the data it collected from its various platforms, creating an obstacle to market entry for its competitors. As a result, META was required to pay a fine of 346 million lira in 2022 for these violations. In addition to the fine, the company was also instructed to submit measures to the Board to eliminate the violation and establish effective competition in the market within 6 months.

Furthermore, META was instructed to obtain re-approval from users who had previously consented to the merging of their data between Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Despite presenting some initial compliance measures, these were deemed insufficient to address anti-competitive concerns. As a result, META faced daily administrative fines until satisfactory compliance measures were presented.

After finally submitting adequate compliance measures on April 5, the company was able to end the violation and establish effective competition in the market. The daily administrative fines were terminated, but META was still fined a total of 898 million lira during the investigation and compliance process.

As part of the compliance measures, META will no longer combine the personal data of users unless they choose to do so through the “Accounts Center” feature in Facebook and Instagram. Users who have previously merged their accounts will have the option to separate them starting in June, with a new “Confirmation Screen” informing them about the data that will be combined and how. Users will have the freedom to change their mind and combine or separate their accounts as they see fit.

Overall, META’s fine and compliance measures aim to ensure fair competition in the social networking services and online display advertising markets, protecting the rights of users and promoting a level playing field for all companies in the industry.


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