Meta has raised the possibility of shutting down Facebook and Instagram across the European Union due to regulatory pressures.
This emerges from a communication from the company to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The document, dated February 2, 2022, states that Meta “will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe“, if it is not allowed to process and transfer the data to the United States.
In the years-long dispute with the Irish data protection authority DPC over compliance with European data protection rules, Facebook threatened to shut down services back in September 2020. If the company had to completely stop data transmission to the USA, it was not clear “how the services of Facebook and Instagram can be continued in the EU under these conditions,” it said at the time.
It is not very clear what Meta would gain if it leaves the European markets since it will always be better to have fewer data and not be able to transfer it, than to have neither data nor a market.
Those responsible for Facebook communication have not denied this information and consider that this could be terrible damage for small businesses. Obviously, this is a pressure strategy against European governments.