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Meta’s Removing Threads From Turkey Amid Investigation by Local Competition Regulator

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Meta has announced that it will shut down Threads in Turkey as a result of an interim order issued by Turkish Competition Authority (T.C.A.) related to the sharing of data between Threads and Instagram.

The order’s part of a broader investigation by the T.C.A. over potential anticompetitive behavior. Back in December the T.C.A. announced that it was examining Threads, which, given that it uses data from IG, could be in violation of Turkish competition law around the sharing data between apps.

The T.C.A.’s now pushing to enforce separation between the two platforms while it continues that investigation, which means that Meta will need to switch off Threads in Turkey for the time being.

As per Meta:

To comply with an interim order of the Rekabet Kurumu/Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), we will shut down Threads in Türkiye from Monday 29 April. We know this will be very disappointing for the many people in Türkiye who engage on Threads with their community.”

Meta’s currently in the process of notifying all Turkish Threads users with this notification in the app:

Threads shutdown in Turkey

At the same time, Meta will continue to work with the T.C.A. to find a resolution to its concerns.

We disagree with the interim order, we believe we are in compliance with all Turkish legal requirements, and we will appeal. The TCA’s interim order leaves us with no choice but to temporarily shut down Threads in Türkiye. We will continue to constructively engage with the TCA and hope to bring Threads back to people in Türkiye as quickly as possible.

Meta’s already run into a few data-related issues with Threads, with the new app’s launch in Europe delayed till Meta could ensure compliance with evolving E.U. privacy requirements.

Both instances relate to unique challenges, not a problem with Threads, as such. But it is interesting that Turkish authorities are taking specific issue with the fact that Meta’s using Instagram as a step-ladder to grow Threads, by sharing user data between the two apps.

It seems likely that the T.C.A. and Meta will come to terms, and that Threads will return to the region shortly. But if Threads does grow into a billion-user app, as Meta projects, it’ll also be interesting to see whether other regions take a closer look at the app, and how it further expands Meta’s digital ad market dominance.

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