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Meta Faces $3.2B Class Action Lawsuit In The UK

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Meta (formerly Facebook) is facing a hefty class action lawsuit in the UK over allegations of abusing its market dominance. The case was brought upon by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is a UK regulatory body that deals with financial matters. The litigators are seeking over £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion) in damages from Meta.

A senior adviser to the FCA, Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, said this lawsuit is on behalf of British citizens that used Facebook between 2015 and 2019. The Competition Appeal Tribunal in London will soon hear the case.

Meta has reportedly been notified of this lawsuit by a law firm called Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, representing Lovdahl Gormsen. The suit alleges that Meta generated billions in revenues with unfair terms and conditions. These terms, the suit alleges, forced users to share their personal data to continue using Facebook.

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Services like Facebook Pixel have come under the UK regulators’ radar

“In the 17 years since it was created, Facebook became the sole social network in the UK where you could be sure to connect with friends and family in one place,” Lovdahl Gormsen was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“Yet, there was a dark side to Facebook; it abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons, giving it the power to exploit their personal data.”

This is an opt-out lawsuit, so citizens can stay out of the lawsuit if they so desire. Lovdahl Gormsen alleges that services like Facebook Pixel allowed the company to collect user data and generate in-depth data profiles of individual users. However, Meta defended its position, saying people “have meaningful control of what information they share on Meta’s platforms and who with.”

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Meta recently failed to eliminate an antitrust lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is part of the U.S. Government’s push to curb the market power of Big Tech.

The last few months for Meta have been rocky, to say the least. This included a Senate testimony by a whistleblower, highlighting malpractices in the company’s functioning. Last month, Meta set up a new site for users to purchase Stars. This was part of the company’s ploy to evade the App Store and Play Store fees. In case you’re unaware, Facebook users reward creators on the platform by sending Stars. This is similar to Bits on Twitch.