Facebook may soon face a UK antitrust investigation

Regulators might look into whether Facebook harnessed user data to fend off rivals.

Toby Melville / Reuters

Antitrust investigations into major tech companies just keep on coming. The UK's competition watchdog is preparing to open one against Facebook in the coming months, according to the Financial Times.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reportedly plans to look into whether Facebook harnesses user data to give itself an advantage over rivals in the social media and online advertising markets. The UK may investigate the Marketplace classified ads service, which the European Commission has targeted as well. The timing and the scope of the CMA investigation could change, however.

Facebook declined to comment to Engadget about the report.

Already this year, the CMA has opened investigations into Apple's App Store fees and Google's plan to ditch third-party tracking cookies. Meanwhile, a CMA department called the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will get up and running next month. The DMA is tasked with creating and enforcing a code of conduct for major tech companies.

The likes of Facebook, Google and Apple aren't safe from antitrust scrutiny on the other side of the Atlantic. The Federal Trade Commission and dozens of attorneys general laid charges against Facebook in December. They're looking to unwind Facebook's purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp. The company has filed to dismiss the charges.

Google is facing multiple antitrust lawsuits from attorneys general and the Justice Department. Meanwhile, Apple is battling Epic Games in another antitrust case.