On 7 February 2019, the German competition law regulator, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), concluded a lengthy investigation into Facebook. It found that the company abused its dominant market position by making the use of its social network conditional on the collection of user data from multiple sources.
The FCO’s probe into Facebook is one of the first cases in the EU concerning the intersection between the EU’s new data privacy laws (contained in the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR) and competition law. The abuse finding under German competition law (which is broadly the same as the pan-EU competition law in this regard) relied on what was, according to the FCO, a breach of EU data protection law. Continue Reading Federal Cartel Office vs. Facebook: When Data Privacy and Competition Law Collide