PS12566 - Italian Competition Authority: a sanction of EUR 3.5 million to Meta for unfair commercial practices


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In the registration process to Instagram, users were not given clear information about the collection and use of their data for commercial purposes. In addition, when Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended, no useful communication was provided for possible complaints. 

The Italian Competition Authority has fined Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd. and its parent company Meta Platforms Inc. EUR 3.5 million for two unfair commercial practices regarding the creation and management of Facebook and Instagram social network accounts.

The Authority found that Meta failed, in breach of Articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Consumer Code, to immediately inform users registered to Instagram via the web of the use of their personal data for commercial purposes.

In addition, the Authority ascertained that Meta did not accurately manage the suspension of Facebook and Instagram users’ accounts, in breach of Article 20 of the Consumer Code. In particular, Meta did not indicate how it decided to suspend Facebook accounts (whether as a result of an automated or 'human' review) and did not provide Facebook and Instagram users with information on the possibility of contesting the suspension of their accounts (they could turn to an out-of-court dispute resolution body or a judge). Finally, it set a short deadline (30 days) for consumers to challenge the suspension.

These two practices were ceased by Meta in the course of the proceedings.

Rome, 5 June 2024