The social network Facebook was sued this Friday in London for abusing its dominant position with “abusive” clauses. The class action lawsuit against Meta, the new name of the owner group, demands 2.3 billion pounds – about 3.2 billion dollars – in damages for the British users of the network.
The case “demonstrates for the first time that the tech giant has abused its dominant position in the market by imposing unfair conditions to users in the United Kingdom to exploit their personal data”, said the law firm of the expert in competition rights, Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, who is carrying out the legal action.
“More of 44 million Britons could be compensated,” sources specified.
According to the grounds of the lawsuit, the service offered by the social network is “abusive”, since forces users to transfer their personal data to access the network.
From Facebook, meanwhile, they responded that “people access our service for free.” “They choose it because it provides a value service and they have significant control over what information they share on Meta platforms and with whom,” they added.
According to the lawyer, on the other hand, it is “abusive” that British users are forced to give up their personal data in order to access the network. “Users do not receive any monetary reward while Facebook generates billions of revenue with their data,” he argued, adding: “This unfair transaction is made possible by Facebook’s dominant position.”
Meta already copes with antitrust lawsuits by the United States competition authority, who could force it to divest itself of its Instagram and WhatsApp subsidiaries.
The group is also the subject of a consumer class action lawsuit in the United States.
Britain’s data protection regulator (ICO) announced in July its intention to impose a £500,000 ($685,000) fine on Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica case, and the use of the data of millions of users without their knowledge.
The social media giant was also denied in May by the Irish courts its request to block an investigation by the regulator in that country, which could lead to the paralysis of data transfers from the European Union to the United States.