I was compelled by a short article in today’s Vancouver Sun about how the UK’s competition regulator has begun investigating Facebook’s practices. While looking further into this issue, I encountered a report posted in SIlicon Angle by MARIA DEUTSCHER.
In summary, Facebook is being investigated over its alleged anti-trust practices. One concern by the UK’s competition regulator is that Facebook’s collection of user data provides an unfair advantage over competitors, such as other social media networks and online advertisement platforms. Facebook’s Marketplace is one possible area the competition regulator is set to focus on as smaller online advertisement platforms may have access to less information relative to Facebook. The European Commission has also received complaints from rival firms and in response sent a questionaire to inquire on ” the importance of customer data to their business and how their access to information compares with that of Facebook.”
Personally, I wonder how much impact these findings will have to Facebook’s practices outside of the UK and Europe. As we have seen from France and Australia’s response to Google’s access to news sources without proper compensation to appropriate news media outlets, other jurisdictions may be looking to see how successful the UK/EU are in perhaps imposing change to Facebook’s practices. Whether Canada or US competition regulators choose to act after UK/EU have reached its verdict is another story.