The German competition authority finds a social network abusing its dominant position by collecting, merging and using data in user accounts (Facebook)

On Thursday, 7 February 2019, Germany’s competition watchdog Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office, FCO) handed down its long-awaited decision on Facebook. It took the FCO nearly three years to conclude the proceedings – quite a long time for a very dynamic industry where players and customers tend to move quickly. But there are good reasons why it took a while to come up with this decision: It is based on a ground-breaking approach to linking data protection and competition law. It is important to remember that the FCO is not a data protection authority. Its role is to apply German and EU competition law to protect the freedom of competition. Basically, this means that the FCO investigates restrictive agreements between undertakings, ensures competitive market structures by

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  • Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)

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Jörg Witting, The German competition authority finds a social network abusing its dominant position by collecting, merging and using data in user accounts (Facebook), 7 February 2019, e-Competitions February 2019, Art. N° 101268

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