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Brussels to open formal antitrust probe into Facebook

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The European Commission is set to open a formal probe into Facebook’s alleged anti-competitive practices as it seeks to understand whether the company is undermining rivals in classified advertising.

EU officials have already sent questionnaires to Facebook and rivals asking whether the social network is distorting the classified ads business by promoting its Marketplace services for free to its 2bn users.

Facebook has so far been the only US Big Tech company to have escaped a formal antitrust investigation. The EU has previously launched investigations into Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google.

The launch of a formal probe could come in days though the timing is still being discussed and the scope of the investigation is also being finalised, according to three senior people with 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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