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EU Opens New Facebook Probe Over Marketplace Antitrust Concerns

EU Opens New Facebook Probe Over Marketplace Antitrust Concerns

EU antitrust regulators are now investigating whether Facebook’s Marketplace is unfair regarding online classified ads, according to a report by Reuters.

Facebook Marketplace has a huge user base — almost one in every three Facebook users have used it. The platform exists so people can buy, sell and trade items. 

Companies that run classified ads are saying that the Facebook's market power gives it an unfair advantage, and they complained to the European Commission. 

The investigation so far involves a survey sent out to various companies with questions about how they view Marketplace and whether they see it as a rival in the classified ads field. Regulators are also looking into the marketplace’s growth, and into Facebook’s commercial ties with its rivals. 

In other Facebook news, the social media giant is filing a lawsuit against NSO Group, an Israeli cybersecurity company, alleging that it hacked WhatsApp users.

Facebook filed the complaint on Tuesday (Oct. 29). It alleged the group used malware on about 1,400 cellphones, targeting human rights activists, journalists, diplomats, government officials and others in a widespread malicious scheme.

Although the malware wasn’t able to break through Facebook’s encryption, it did in fact infect users’ phones, which gave NSO Group access to messages after they were decrypted.

Facebook also named a second organization in the suit: Q Cyber, which is a company affiliated with NSO Group. Earlier this year, WhatsApp confirmed that it had been hacked, but it didn’t say who the perpetrator was.

“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told CNBC at the time. “We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users.”

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