Competition law can hardly protect Facebook users

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English Learning

New Member
Chinese-Spanish
Hi~~

My friend sent me a reading comprehension test. And we have different opinions ...

Test:

< ---- > Competition law as presently interpreted deals with financial disadvantage to consumers and this is not obvious when the users of these services don’t pay for them. The users of their services are not their customers. That would be the people who buy advertising from them – and Facebook and Google operate a virtual duopoly in digital advertising to the detriment of all other media and entertainment companies.

Competition law as presently interpreted can hardly protect Facebook users because ______.
A: they are not defined as customers.
B: they are not financially reliable.
C: the services are generally digital.
D: the services are paid for by advertisers.



My friend selects A; I think D is more appropriate.

My choice is based on the reasoning that:

As passage indicates, competition law only protects the consumers, so the law can't protect the Facebook users who don't buy the services provided by Facebook.

The law only protects the people who buy the Facebook services. But we can't ignore the condition mentioned in the passage: the Facebook users don't pay for the services.

What if they pay for the services?

These people/users have two identities: Facebook users and customers/advertisers. So, I think option A is wrong because some of Facebook users who has purchased the services, are customers. thus They are protected by the law.

Do I think wrong?


Thank you!


Edited to reduce quotation to 4 sentences in compliance with Rule 4. Cagey,
moderator
 
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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Competition law as presently interpreted can hardly protect Facebook users because ______.

    [A] they are not defined as customers.

    the services are paid for by advertisers.
    I can't work out where the last few underlined words fit in.
    Are you asking if A fits in the gap after 'because'?
    If so, yes, it does.
    Where is B?
    I too question the use of 'hardly', with its ambiguity.
     

    English Learning

    New Member
    Chinese-Spanish
    What is the source for this question please?

    A is correct, but the question is not well formed- it could legitimately be argued that B is also correct. The advertisers are the customers (and therefore the ones protected).

    Note also that ‘can hardly protect’ may also be incorrect, depending on context.
    I have no idea about its source ..... But what I think different is that advertisers are also the Fackbook users .... SO A may be inappropriate
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    What if they pay for the services?

    These people/users have two identities: Facebook users and customers/advertisers. So, I think option A is wrong because some of Facebook users who has purchased the services, are customers. thus They are protected by the law.

    Do I think wrong?
    Yes, you do!
    You are assuming things that are not expressed in the original text. As far as I know, Facebook does not offer any premium account services to users -- but even if they did, it is not something that the text addresses.
    Choice A (A: they are not defined as customers.) is clearly correct, because that is the key point of the original text.
    Choice D (D: the services are paid for by advertisers.) is one fact described in the text, but if used as an answer, the sentence throws up additional questions.

    D: Competition laws cannot protect Facebook users because the services are paid for by advertisers.
    -> Somebody who's unfamiliar with Facebook would immediately ask "Why?", "What's the difference between advertisers and users?", etc.

    A: Competition laws cannot protect Facebook users because they are not defined as customers.
    -> This might still throw up questions for somebody who's never heard of Facebook, but in general it's just a clearer and more self-contained summary of the key point in the original text.
     
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