Dr Lovdahl Gormsen alleges that Facebook abused its market dominance by imposing an unfair bargain on UK users to exploit their off-Facebook personal data.
Since it was created in 2004, Facebook has become the biggest online social network and/or social media platform in the world, used by over two billion people every day.
However, this claim alleges that Facebook abused its dominant position by imposing unfair prices, terms and/or conditions on users. In order to access Facebook, users are required to give Facebook access to their highly valuable personal data, including data relating to their activities on website or apps other than the Facebook website or app. In return users only receive “free” access to Facebook’s social network, and zero monetary recompense, whilst Facebook generates billions in revenues from its users’ data. The claim therefore alleges that users are paying an unfair price, in the form of their personal data, to Facebook, or have been subjected to unfair terms and conditions. This unfair deal was only possible due to Facebook’s market dominance.
This multi-billion collective action for breach of competition law has been filed against Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of the Meta group and other relevant entities in the Meta group, including Facebook UK Limited and Meta Platforms Ireland Limited.
All UK-domiciled individuals who used Facebook between 2016 and the date of final judgment or earlier settlement of the present proposed collective proceedings, in that they had a Facebook account and accessed that account at least once between 2016 and the present date while in the UK.
As an opt-out case, consumers will not need to actively join the case to seek damages, but will be part of the claim unless they decide to opt-out from it.
A minimum of £2.07 billion in damages, plus interest, is currently being claimed on behalf of the alleged 46 million affected UK Facebook users. The precise amount that may be available to each member of the Proposed Class, and the timing of any such payment, has not yet been determined. The allegations against Facebook must be argued before the court, or a settlement reached with Facebook, before any money becomes available. There is no guarantee that the claim will be successful or that any compensation will become available.
Dr Lovdahl Gormsen has secured funding for her case from Innsworth, one of the largest litigation funders in the world. There is no cost to the UK users for this claim.
The Tribunal released a judgment on 15 February 2024, following a hearing in January, permitting the case to go forward to a full trial. The exact date of this trial had not yet been determined, but we expect it to take place in 2026.
Any person with an interest (including any member of the proposed class) was able to object to the CPO Application or the authorisation of the Proposed Class Representative by writing to the Tribunal stating their reasons for objecting by no later than 4pm on 6 December 2023.
Any person with an interest (including any member of the proposed class) was able to apply to the Tribunal for permission to make oral and/or written submissions at the hearing on 8-9 January 2024. Any such application was to be made in writing, supported by reasons, and be received by no later than 4pm on 6 December 2023.
This claim is being brought on an “opt-out” basis. This means that if the claim is allowed to proceed, anyone who accessed their Facebook account at least once from the UK during the period 2016 to the present date, and is also resident in the UK on the “domicile date” (which is yet to be determined by the Tribunal), will be automatically included, unless they choose to opt out.
If the Tribunal allows the claim to proceed, a deadline will be set by which users who do not wish to be included in the claim may opt out. Opting out will mean that you will not be part of this claim. That includes not being able to receive a payment from this claim if the claim is successful and any compensation is secured. If the Tribunal allows the claim to proceed, you will be able to opt out by providing certain details and submitting them to us via post, e-mail or an online webform.
You will not have to provide any reason for opting out. In the meantime, please let us know at email@example.com. If you do not wish to be part of this claim, and we will contact you if the claim is allowed to proceed to help you confirm your opt out. If you are unsure at this stage about being included, please feel free to contact us with any queries.
Learn more about the representative action against Facebook (now Meta), and receive more news and information around the claim’s progress.
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