Brussels to open a formal antitrust probe on Facebook

The European Commission is set to open a formal investigation into Facebook’s alleged anti-competitive work as it seeks to understand whether the company is harming its classified advertising rivals.

EU officials sent inquiries on Facebook and rivals questioned whether the social network distorted the classified ad business by launching Marketplace services free to its 2bn users.

Facebook has so far been the only U.S. Big Tech company to escape a formal antitrust investigation. The EU has previously launched audits on Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google.

The launch of the formal investigation could take a few days even if the time is still being discussed and the scope of the investigation has also been finalized, according to three seniors who have direct knowledge of the case.

The European Commission declined to comment. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More to follow.

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