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Meta Faces Daily $160,000 Fine from Turkish Competition Authority for non compliance

The competition regulator has imposed a fine of 346.72 million Lira ($11.6 million) on Meta Platforms, Inc., Meta Platforms Ireland Limited, and WhatsApp LLC.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is placed on laptop keyboard in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Turkey’s competition authority has imposed a $160,000 per day fine on Meta for failure to adequately address competition concerns arising from its dominance in social networking, consumer communication, and online advertising. The authority had decided that Meta was dominating these markets in 2022 and imposed a fine of 346.72 million Lira ($11.6 million) on Meta Platforms, Inc., Meta Platforms Ireland Limited, and WhatsApp LLC. It had also asked Meta to fulfill the following obligations—

  • Submit the measures taken to comply with the authority’s decision within one month of being notified of the authority’s decision.
  • It should implement these measures within six months of being notified of the authority’s decision.
  • It should submit an annual report to the authority for 5 years following the implementation of the first compliance measure.

Meta received the authority’s decision in September 2023 but instead of submitting measures within the prescribed one-month period, it asked for an extension. Finally, when the compliance measures were submitted in December 2023, the authority found them to be inadequate. As such, it has imposed a daily fine on the social media giant until it submits a final compliance remedy.

How Meta distorted competition:

It said that Meta was distorting competition by “complicating the activities of its competitors” and creating barriers to entry to the market by combining data collected from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp services. This, the authority said, was an abuse of its dominant position as specified under Article 6 of Protection of Competition Act.

Notably, Turkey isn’t the only country where Meta has found itself in hot water for competition concerns. In June 2021, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began investigating the company saying that it was taking advantage of ad data from businesses using its advertising services to improve its own products in competition with the advertising customers. The company has since offered to not use other businesses’ advertising data for improving its Facebook Marketplace service.

How has Meta responded to the authority’s decision?

In 2022, Meta had said that it disagreed with the authority’s findings and it continues to hold that stance in 2024 as well. Despite the disagreement, Meta says that it will “continue to constructively cooperate with the Turkish Competition Authority to resolve the matter without delay”, according to a Reuters report.

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