The Curia has recently released its ruling that advertising Facebook as a free social media is not misleading, Deloitte points out.
The previous decision upheld the judgment of the Metropolitan Court, which annulled the decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) in December 2019 finding an infringement and imposing a fine of HUF 1.2 billion.
The GVH launched a antitrust case against Facebook Ireland Ltd in October 2016, as it had posted claims on its homepage and help center on the community portal from 2010 that advertised its services for free.
While users don’t really pay to use it, they collect detailed data about their interests, behaviors, and buying habits, based on which Facebook sells targeted advertising opportunities, and the ads reach consumers in between posts.
In this business model, the GVH has examined whether claims of gratuitousness mislead consumers into bringing a tangible benefit to Facebook with their data, even though they do not actually have to pay to use the portal.
The GVH found Facebook’s practice to be infringing, but the Curia said it was not misleading to consumers that the community portal advertised itself as free.