According to the press release issued on 6 December 2019, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 1.2 billion (EUR 3.6 million) on Facebook for misleading users by claiming its services were free.
GVH found that Facebook Ireland Ltd. had breached competition law when it advertised its services as being free of charge on its home page and Help Centre. GVH stated that users did not have to pay a fee for using the service, however, Facebook benefited economically from the user’s activity and data. According to GVH, the user data Facebook gathered enabled it to post targeted ads for users. In addition, users were not aware of the amount and value of data handed over to Facebook while using the service.
GVH imposed a fine amounting to a total of EUR 3.6 million, which is the highest fine that the authority has ever imposed in a consumer protection case.
It is unclear yet whether Facebook had amended the misleading statements since then.
By Adrienn Megyesi, Attorney at Law, KCG Partners Law Firm