Facebook parent company Meta is being sued for £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion) in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the United Kingdom for allegedly abusing its market dominance and exploiting user data.
The social media giant is being sued by competition law expert Dr. Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, who took to Twitter on Friday to announce the class-action lawsuit against Meta on behalf of affected UK Facebook users.
“Facebook is by far the largest social network in the UK. Yet, there was a dark side to Facebook’s ubiquity: it is alleged to have abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons giving it the power to exploit their personal data,” Lovdahl Gormsen said in a statement. “As many as 44 million UK Facebook users may have been subject to this abuse by Facebook.”
“By exploiting users’ data, both within the Facebook platform and off-platform through mechanisms like the Facebook Pixel, the company was able to build very detailed pictures of users’ internet usage,” Gormsen said. “By using deep data profiles of its users, the company generated excessive profits.”
Gormsen, who specializes in EU and UK Competition Law; UK Company Law and Corporate Governance, went on to claim that Facebook had abused its market dominance to “strike an unfair bargain with users, imposing terms and conditions on a take it or leave basis to access to its social network in exchange for users’ highly valuable personal data, and zero monetary recompense.”
The lawsuit, which will be heard by London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, argues that Facebook set an “unfair price” for its 44 million affected UK users and should pay them compensation for the exploitation of their data between 2015 and 2019.
“The ‘price’ set for gaining access to the social network was the surrender of UK users’ highly valuable personal data on a take it or leave it basis for using the network,” Gormsen said. “In return, users only…