Meta is walking back comments about the possibility of leaving the EU market over data regulations, saying “we have absolutely no desire to withdraw from Europe.”
Meta made headlines when it seemed to indicate it may pull out of the European market over limitations the GDPR imposes on the transfer of data between the EU and the US. Meta is now saying news reports, including from WPN, about threats to pull out of the EU market are “simply not true.”
WPN, like most outlets, simply quoted Meta’s own words in its SEC filing, which are included below (italics ours):
If a new transatlantic data transfer framework is not adopted and we are unable to continue to rely on SCCs or rely upon other alternative means of data transfers from Europe to the United States, we will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Meta has chalked the statement up to the kind “material risk” statement publicly traded companies are required to make.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that Meta did not say in its filing that it may be forced to alter the services it offers, or make concessions to remain compliant with EU law. Instead, the company said it may be “unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram.”
However much Meta may be trying to walk back its SEC filing statements, that certainly sounds like a threat to leave the EU market.