Turkey fines Meta $18.63 million for violating competition law

Turkey‘s Competition Authority announced that it has fined Meta Platforms Inc. 346.72 million liras ($18.63 million) for violating competition law.

The company merged the data collected from its three applications — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — which has complicated the activities of its competitors and created barriers to market entry, the Turkish authority said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

The company held a dominant position in personal social networking services, consumer communication services and online video advertising markets, the watchdog noted.

The fine was based on the company’s 2021 income and Meta can object to the decision within 60 days, it added.

The authority had launched an investigation in 2021 when WhatsApp forced its Turkish users to share their data, including phone number and location, with Facebook, or they would not be able to use WhatsApp.

WhatsApp groups created by Turkey’s public institutions moved to the local messaging apps after the privacy policy update.

The Turkish government has been tightening its regulations on social media companies over the past few years.


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