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UK class action lodged against Meta seeks $3.1B for breach of competition law

A competition legal expert, backed by a powerful litigation fund, is set to mount a multibillion-dollar class action suit against Facebook/Meta for breach of competition law on the basis that it abused its dominance of social networking in the U.K. for several years. If successful, the action would see Facebook having to pay $3.1 billion (£2.3 billion) in damages to Facebook U.K. users.

The class action lawsuit was lodged against Meta, Facebook’s parent company, yesterday with the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal in London.

The unusual approach claims Facebook should pay its 44 million U.K. users compensation for the exploitation of their data between 2015 and 2019. Effectively, it’s saying Facebook took all the personal and private data of its users — who, due to Facebook’s dominance, had no other viable social platform — and in return all its users got, in effect, was the ability to post pictures of babies and kittens to their friends and families.

The action is being mounted by international competition law expert Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen (pictured here) who has made submissions before the U.K.’s Parliament regarding Facebook’s market dominance, as well as written academic legal papers about it.

Dr Lovdahl Gormsen’s case rests on the idea that Facebook (recently renamed Meta) set an “unfair price” for U.K. Facebook users.

The “price” set for granting access to the social network was the surrender of U.K. users’ highly valuable personal data, who in return simply got “free” access to Facebook’s social networking platform, no financial compensation, all while Facebook generated billions in revenues.

Key to the case’s argument is that Facebook “surrounded” its U.K. users not just by locking them and their data into its platform, but also by tracking them via the Facebook pixel, on other websites, thus generating deep “social graph” data about its users.


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