Meta’s troubled relationship with Europe
In December 2022, the European Commission (EC) launched an antitrust investigation into Meta’s practices related to its online classified advertising business. The EC investigation was to investigate whether Meta abused its market power by linking its Facebook Marketplace service to its social network Facebook.
Meta also threatened to leave the European Union entirely if it was not able to transfer European users’ data to the United States. This is because the EU-US Privacy Shield, an agreement that allows the transfer of data between the two regions, was invalidated by the European Court of Justice in July 2020.
In March 2022, the EU Parliament passed the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a set of rules that aims to regulate big tech companies like Meta. The DMA requires gatekeepers, which are companies that have a significant impact on the internal market, to comply with a number of obligations. This is a big reason why Meta’s latest app – Threads – has not yet launched in Europe. Meta is concerned that the DMA will make it difficult to launch Threads in Europe, as the app will have to comply with a number of new regulations.
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