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Facebook breakup would be solution of last resort - EU's Vestager

Margrethe Vestager of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) reacts before a debate to be broadcast live across Europe from the European Parliament in Brussels ahead of the May 23-26 elections for EU lawmakers, in Brussels, Belgium May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Walschaerts/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - A break-up of U.S. social media company Facebook would be a solution of last resort that would probably generate long judicial procedures, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.

The EU antitrust chief was asked about Facebook at the VivaTech technology conference in Paris after leading U.S. Democratic politicians and one of Facebook's co-founders recently spoke in favour of a break-up of the company.

"Of course it would be a remedy of very last resort. I think it would keep us in court for maybe a decade. It is much more direct and maybe much more powerful to say we need access to data," Vestager told reporters.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's co-founder and former college roommate Chris Hughes this month used a New York Times opinion piece to urge U.S. regulators to break up the tech giant.


(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by David Goodman)