Interim Injunction Issued Against META For Data Sharing Practices Between Threads and Instagram

Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”), in its announcement dated March 18, 2024, published the interim injunction decision numbered 24-07/125-50 dated February 8, 2024 (“Decision”).
TCA has issued an interim injunction decision against META Platforms Inc. (“META”), pursuant to the ongoing investigation initiated by the decision numbered 25-54/1031-M dated 23.11.2023. This decision is in line with Article 9(4) of Law No 4054 on Protection of Competition (“Law”), enforcing measures against META’s integration of user data without consent.

Under the scope of the investigation into META’s practices, suspecting abuse of its dominant market position, Decision specifically addresses META’s actions of merging user data from Threads profiles based on Instagram accounts without user consent, posing a risk of irreparable harm before the investigation’s conclusion. In this regard;

  • META’s practice of combining user data from Instagram-based Threads profiles without offering users an opt-in choice was seen as likely to cause irreparable damage pending the investigation’s outcome.
  • META has been operational in the market for many years, amassing a detailed and extensive data collection. This data richness makes META’s services highly attractive to advertisers, creating its dominant position on the market.
  • The advantage gained from META’s large and diverse user base allows it to allocate more resources towards service development, complicating competitors’ access to advertisers and, consequently, financial resources, which has led to the creation of barriers to market entry.
  • META operates a complex ecosystem of basic and related services, which enables META to transfer power and insights gained from one service to another, further increasing its market power. 
were given as the reasons for establishment of an interim measure, to “prevent the merging of data obtained through the Threads application by Meta Platforms Inc. with data obtained from the Instagram application until a final decision is made, in order to prevent potential competition violations in the relevant product market and the irreparable harm they could cause.”

To comply with the interim injunction, with an announcement on 15.04.2024, META has declared that it planned to “temporarily” cease the operation of Threads in Türkiye starting from 29 April 2024. Non-compliance with this interim injunction will result in administrative fines as per Article 17 of the Law.

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