META’s “profile-less usage” suggestion not to raise concerns from Competition Board

The Competition Board stated in a written announcement that there was no decision made by the Board to terminate the use of Threads in Turkey.

In the statement, it was reminded that a preliminary investigation was conducted about the company regarding the claim that users are required to have an Instagram account to access the application called Threads released by META, and users who want to remove their Threads account are also forced to delete their Instagram account. It was also noted that following the preliminary investigation, an investigation was initiated against META.

The statement indicated that the Board concluded that META, by combining user data from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp services, distorted competition in the relevant markets, and required META to take remedial measures to address the violation.

Considering the possible destructive consequences of delayed intervention in digital markets, the statement indicated that the Board resorted to additional methods regarding the investigation into data merging behaviors related to Threads, aiming to prevent serious and irreparable harm until a final decision is made, by issuing a temporary measure to prevent data merging between Instagram and Threads.

The statement mentioned that until the requirement of the temporary measure decision is fulfilled, an administrative fine of approximately 4.8 million Turkish Lira per day will be imposed on META in accordance with the Law on Protection of Competition.

META proposed solutions The statement indicated that various proposals were submitted to the Authority by META following this decision, stating:

“In order to comply with the precautionary decision, META presented the suggestion of ‘profile-less usage’ previously introduced for users in the EU, however, it was not accepted as it was not seen to alleviate the concerns adequately. These suggestions were not accepted due to reasons such as the necessity of an Instagram account for Threads usage, the continuation of data merging actions for individuals who currently use Threads with their existing profiles, the potential lower service quality of profile-less usage compared to profiled usage, and therefore, users being compelled to consent to data merging by being directed towards profiled usage.”

The statement reminded that as of April 29th, META officially discontinued the Threads service in Turkey, and it was noted that all Threads profiles of users in Turkey were disabled by META.

Daily administrative fine terminated In the statement providing information about the latest evaluation made by the Board, it was recorded:

“The Board has decided to terminate the daily administrative fine and impose an administrative fine of 335,730,707 Turkish Lira as Threads ceased its activities without fulfilling the obligations envisaged in the temporary measure decision.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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