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Meta’s Facebook Faces $3.2B U.K. Class Action Lawsuit

Meta Platforms Inc.’s (FB) social networking site Facebook faces a $3.2 billion (2.3 billion pound) class action suit in the United Kingdom. According to the suit, the company allegedly used its market position to exploit the personal data of 44 million users. Shares closed down 2% at $326.48 on January 13.

The case represents Britain’s people who used Facebook between 2015 and 2019. The lawyer in the suit is Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a senior adviser to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog and a competition law academic.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook made billions of pounds from compelling its users to give valuable personal data to use the service. The case will be heard by London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal. Gormsen also said that by accessing the data, Facebook created deep data profiles of users.

Comments

Responding to the lawsuit, Facebook said that its users accessed the social networking site because it delivered value to them. Any information shared thereon is wholly up to the user. What they share and with whom they share was completely the user’s call.

Lovdahl Gormsen said, “In the 17 years since it was created, Facebook became the sole social network in the UK where you could be sure to connect with friends and family in one place… Yet, there was a dark side to Facebook; it abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons, giving it the power to exploit their personal data.”

Wall Street View

The FB stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 26 Buys and 5 Holds. The average Meta Platforms price target of $406.92 implies 24.6% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 29.9% over the past year.

Website Traffic

TipRanks’ Website Traffic tool, which uses data from SEMrush Holdings (SEMR), the world’s biggest website usage monitoring service, offers insight into FB’s performance.

In December, Meta Platforms website traffic recorded a 9.26% year-over-year decrease in monthly visits. Similarly, year-to-date website traffic growth decreased by 4.62% compared to the same period last year. FB earnings for the fourth quarter are scheduled for February 2, 2022.

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