MPs release secret documents showing Facebook targeted rivals

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MPs have released documents relating to Facebook which suggest the company deliberately suffocated rivals with its business practices.

The documents also suggest that Facebook collected user data without those users’ knowledge.

Not all of the documents seized by the committee investigating fake news have been published.

The committee chair, Damian Collins MP, tweeted: “We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook… which is why we’re releasing the documents.”

The documents were seized in November in an unusually aggressive step by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.

They were reportedly taken using an obscure legal power when the boss of US software company Six4Three – which is involved in court action against Facebook in the US – came to the UK on a business trip.

The release covers 250 pages including the MPs’ summary and exhibits including emails from figures including Mark Zuckerberg and internal Facebook documents.

Collins also alleged that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements”, which gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data.

This echoes the accusation made by app developer Six4Three, from whom the documents were seized. Six4Three is currently attempting to enter these documents as evidence in a its lawsuit with Facebook in the US.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has disputed such allegations in the past.

More follows…

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