Facebook’s Marketplace Facing EU Antitrust Scrutiny

The European Union (EU) is targeting Facebook’s Marketplace as the next leg in its antitrust investigation, according to a Monday (April 6) report in the Financial Times (FT). 

In an effort to see if Facebook has an unfair advantage in the classified advertising space, investigators are asking the social media giant’s competitors to fill out a 14-page survey. The questions are focused on Facebook’s impact on rival classified ads businesses, like the German media group Axel Springer and Norway’s Schibsted. Facebook Marketplace is a free service for its 2 billion users. 

Facebook introduced the Marketplace in 2016 to enable Facebook users to buy and sell all kinds of merchandise, even furniture and cars. This latest questionnaire is just one of several that EU investigators have distributed to Facebook competitors.

“Marketplace is growing nicely. It’s now used by hundreds of millions of people every month. We also rolled out ads in Marketplace, which are available in 94 markets, which means advertisers can extend their News Feed ads to Marketplace. We’re seeing a lot of interest, especially with retail and auto advertisers. It’s very early, but we’re seeing good results,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, said on Facebook’s January earnings call.  

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