Facebook: “imminent” collective complaint in London for abuse of dominant position

An expert in competition law plans to file a collective lawsuit “imminent”, relating to at least 2.3 billion pounds (2.75 billion euros), against Meta on behalf of British users of its Facebook subsidiary for abuse of a dominant position.

According to a press release on Friday, “Liza Lovdahl Gormsen will launch a multi-billion class action lawsuit against competition appeal court against Meta, parent company of Facebook”.

“More than 44 million Britons could be compensated”, adds the press release.

A spokeswoman, interviewed by AFP, was unable to say precisely when this complaint would be filed, simply saying that it was “imminent”.

“Ms Lovdahl Gormsen’s case demonstrates for the first time that the tech giant abused its dominant position in its market by imposing unfair terms and conditions on UK users to exploit o their personal data”, argues the press release.

Ms. Lovdahl Gormsen’s lawyers, the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, notified Meta of the complaint.

A spokesperson for the tech giant told AFP that “people are accessing our service for free. They choose (it) because it provides them with a valuable service and they have significant control over the information they share on Meta’s platforms and with whom”.

But according to the complainant, it is not fair for UK users to be forced to give access to their “high value” personal data in order to be able to access the social network.

In return for the “free” access to the social network, users receive “no monetary rewards while Facebook generates billions in revenue with their data. This unfair transaction is possible because of the dominant position of Facebook”.

This complaint comes at a time when Meta faces anti-monopoly lawsuits from the US competition authority that could force to sell its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp, recalls the press release.

Meta is also the subject of a complaint in the collective name of consumers in the United States and of actions by regulatory authorities in around the world.

The British data protection regulator (ICO) announced in July its intention to impose a fine of 500.000 pounds (565.000 euros) to Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica affair, and the use without their knowledge of data from millions of users.

The social networking giant had also been dismissed in May by the Irish courts of its request to block an investigation by the Irish regulator, which could lead to a stop d Data transfers from the EU to the United States.