Facebook £3bn legal action given go-ahead in London

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By Imran Rahman-Jones

BBC News

A judge has given the go-ahead to a mass legal action against Facebook owner Meta, potentially worth £3bn.

The case is being brought by legal academic Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, on behalf of 45 million Face book users.

Her original claim was refused, in 2023, but a revised version has now been accepted, with early 2026 said to be the latest it could be heard.

Meta said the claims “remain entirely without merit and we will vigorously defend against them”.

‘Take-it-or-leave-it’ offer

The new claim says: “Face book has struck an unfair bargain with its users,” according to legal documents.

Facebook abused its dominance by making users give it their data from non-Facebook products, including Meta-owned Instagram and other third-party sites.

And sharing data with third parties had become “a condition of accessing the Facebook platform, pursuant to a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer”.

Facebook is free to use but carries advertisements.

The more data it has on its users, the better it can target adverts – and the more it can charge.


‘Fundamental concerns’

The claim is seeking £2.07-3.1bn compensation for those who had Face book accounts between February 2016 and October 2023.

It will be heard at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Meta said the “fundamental concerns identified by the tribunal in its February 2023 judgment have not been resolved”.

It was “committed to giving people meaningful control” of the information they shared on its platforms and to “invest heavily to create tools that allow them to do so.”

The legal action is being funded by Innsworth, a company backed by an investment management fund, which has also funded mass legal actions against MasterCard, Ericsson and Volkswagen.

In 2023, Meta paid out $725m (£583m), in a privacy case, to Facebook account holders in the US.