Facebook owner Meta will challenge the EU antitrust charges in a closed-door hearing on Friday in a bid to avoid a potential hefty fine after regulators accused him of linking his classifieds service to his social network, said people familiar with the matter.
The European Commission sent a charge sheet to the world’s most popular social network last December, pointing to two practices that showed Meta abused its market power.
It said Meta’s linking of its online classifieds service Facebook Marketplace with its social network Facebook gave the former an unfair advantage.
He also questioned Meta’s unfair trading conditions imposed on rival online classifieds services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram.
Meta declined to comment on the hearing during which senior antitrust officials from the Commission and their peers from national watchdogs will be present to hear their arguments.
“The European Commission’s claims are unsubstantiated. We will continue to work with regulatory authorities to demonstrate that our product innovation is pro-consumer and pro-competitive,” Meta’s lawyer Tim Lamb said in a statement.
The company could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover and an order to change its business practices if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules. He had previously tried to solve the case, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
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