The German Competition Authority forces a social network company to change its data collection policy (Facebook)

On 7 February 2019, after almost three years of investigation, Germany's Federal Cartel Office ("FCO") issued its long awaited decision on Facebook's data collection practices. The FCO found that Facebook has a dominant position on the German market for social networks, and abused this position by making use of the Facebook social network conditional upon the user consenting to what FCO president Andreas Mundt referred to as Facebook's "practically unrestricted" collection of data from third party websites and apps (including services owned by Facebook such as WhatsApp and Instagram) and linking that data to the user's Facebook account. The decision prohibits this conduct and orders Facebook to change its terms of service. This is an interventionist and far reaching decision:

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Authors

  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)

Quotation

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Marcel Nuys, Peter Rowland, Juliana Penz, The German Competition Authority forces a social network company to change its data collection policy (Facebook), 7 February 2019, e-Competitions February 2019, Art. N° 101432

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