On 20/02/2023, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal rendered its Judgment in the proposed collective proceedings against corporate members of the Meta Group. The Proposed Class Representative, Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, had alleged three separate abuses of dominance by the Platform (violating the Competition Act 1998), and consequential losses to 45 million Facebook users. The damages sought were £2.3 billion.
However, the Tribunal rejected the application for a Collective Proceedings Order. Crucially, the expert economic evidence relied on was found to have ‘significant methodological’ errors. This meant the Tribunal was not satisfied that the proceedings could be heard efficiently, and it could not complete the necessary cost/benefit analysis.
This has dealt a blow to the intended action, and it remains to be seen whether the Proposed Representative can produce sufficient expert evidence to quantify the loss. The application has now been stayed for six months, but without a ‘new and better blueprint leading to an effective trial’, the claim risks being rejected.
The Judgment is attached and the Tribunal documents for the matter can be found here.