FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager attends the weekly College of Commissioners meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Februray 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook is not currently in EU regulators’ crosshairs but it may well be in future because of the crucial role played by data, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Tuesday.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s comments came two weeks after the German cartel office ruled that the world’s largest social network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their consent.

Vestager said she has no case against Facebook regarding its market power for now but nevertheless was monitoring the market.

“We have some concerns. One thing is that we don’t have an open case now, that doesn’t preclude we don’t have a case in future. We are looking at the market very closely,” she told a European Parliament hearing.

The European Commission has previously indicated that Facebook’s issues could be better handled by privacy enforcers rather than by competition regulators.

Vestager has taken on tech giants including Google and Qualcomm in recent years and handed down million-euro fines for abusing their market power.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans


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