Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

EU, U.K. launch antitrust investigations into Facebook

The European Union and United Kingdom opened dual antitrust investigations into Facebook on Friday to determine if the social media company distorts competition in the classified advertising market.

Why it matters: The new investigations are the latest salvo in European regulators' crackdown on Big Tech companies, in an attempt to even the playing field and save local businesses.


Driving the news: The European Commission is specifically seeking to determine whether Facebook holds an unfair advantage over its competitors by placing its own classified ad service, Marketplace, inside of the social network.

  • The U.K.'s antitrust regulator said it is examining whether Facebook’s access to user data gives it an unfair advantage over competitors providing classified data and online dating services.

What they're saying: "Facebook collects vast troves of data on the activities of users of its social network and beyond, enabling it to target specific customer groups,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s digital czar, said in a statement.

  • “We will look in detail at whether this data gives Facebook an undue competitive advantage, in particular on the online classified ads sector," she added.
  • "We intend to thoroughly investigate Facebook’s use of data to assess whether its business practices are giving it an unfair advantage in the online dating and classified ad sectors," Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, said in a statement.

The other side: Facebook told the Wall Street Journal that its Marketplace and Dating services “operate in a highly competitive environment with many large incumbents. We will continue to cooperate fully with the investigations to demonstrate that they are without merit.”

Go deeper: The world regulates Big Tech while U.S. dithers

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories