Privacy & Antitrust Research Program

General antitrust

The EU Parliament and Member States reach an agreement on the final text of the Digital Markets Act
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On Thursday, March 25, 2022, the European Parliament and EU Member States reached agreement on the final text of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA marks a paradigm shift in the regulation of digital markets, giving the European Commission unprecedented powers to regulate leading digital (...)

The EU Commission publishes final version of its proposed Data Act, with harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data in the Union
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The EU’s Data Act: Capstone of the EU Data Strategy* On 23 February 2022, the EU Commission published its long-awaited Data Act, the last major building block of the Commission’s February 2020 Data Strategy. The Data Act Is an ambitious piece of legislation with implications for consumers and (...)

The German Data Protection Conference updates its privacy guidance through Unfair Competition Act
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Washington)
The German Conference of DPAs (the DSK) has released new (legally non-binding) detailed Guidelines dated February 18, 2022 with respect to direct marketing in Germany. With the DSK as their forum, the federal and state data protection authorities in Germany have adopted the Guidelines jointly (...)

The International Competition Network publishes findings of its research among members on competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy
International Competition Network (ICN)
ICN Steering Group Project – Competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy* Task 1: Issues identification Introduction This paper identifies for competition agencies relevant issues at the intersection between competition, consumer (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on the consumer ’Internet of Things’ sector inquiry
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on consumer Internet of Things sector inquiry* The European Commission has published today the findings of its competition sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT). The final report and its accompanying staff working document (...)

The EU Parliament adopts the amended draft of the Digital Services Act with several last-minute changes
Hogan Lovells (Hamburg)
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Hogan Lovells (Hamburg)
In December 2020, the EU Commission had published its first draft for the Digital Services Act (DSA) – laying the foundations for its ambitious plan to reshape Europe’s digital future. The proposed legislation will bring a comprehensive package of harmonized rules for the Internet economy across (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes interim report on its sector inquiry into messenger and video services
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publishes interim report on its sector inquiry into messenger and video services* Currently many users are concerned about how safe their personal data are in messenger and video services. Should legislators and authorities ensure the possibility for users to easily (...)

The German Competition Authority presents the results of its sector inquiry into mobile apps which examines consumer rights
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Insufficient consumer protection in mobile apps: Bundeskartellamt identifies problems and proposes possible solutions* The Bundeskartellamt has today presented the results of its sector inquiry into mobile apps to examine consumer rights. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Apps (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation launches public consultations on its proposed amendments to administrative sanctions for price-related illegal activities with special focus on the digital sector
Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Shanghai)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s primary competition enforcement regulator, recently published a consultation draft of its amendments to the existing Provisions on Administrative Sanctions Against Price-related Illegal Activities on 2 July 2021 (the Provisions). The (...)

The UK Competition Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office publish a joint statement setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and data protection in the digital economy
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
ICO and CMA set out blueprint for cooperation in digital markets* The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have published a joint statement, setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and data protection in the (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes a preliminary report on the e-marketplace sector inquiry
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Recent developments in digitalization have triggered the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) to scrutinize more closely e-marketplace business models. The TCA has carried out a sector inquiry on e-marketplaces for this purpose and a preliminary report (“Report”) has been published on the official (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf stays the proceedings against a social media company and announces a referral to the EU Court of Justice on questions of data protection law (Facebook)
Spieker & Jaeger (Dortmund)
Of Pricing Guns, Social Networks and GDPR: The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Courts submits Facebook Case to the CJEU* On 24 March 2021 the Higher Regional Court (‘Oberlandesgericht’) of Düsseldorf put yet another twist to the ‘Facebook Saga’. Although the formal written submission is not yet (...)

The UK Parliament publishes an independent report on the state of national competition law
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Gunnercooke (London)
On 16 February 2021, John Penrose MP published an independent report on improving competition and consumer protection in the UK (the Report). It finds that the UK’s competition and consumer regime “has a good reputation, but not a great one”; progress on “cutting the costs of red tape” has stalled; (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes a market study into the telecom sector, finding a shift to non-price-based competition, categorizing the sector as a two-sided market, and noting the sector’s distress due to increased debt burden
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
The Indian Telecom sector (‘Sector’) is the world’s second largest telecommunications market, both in terms of subscriber base (1.16 billion) and in terms of total internet users (743.19 million). Recently, on 22 January 2021, the Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) released its key findings and (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes the key findings of its market study on the telecom sector
Khaitan (Mumbai)
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Khaitan (Mumbai)
Tring Tring! CCI calls in the market study on Indian telecom sector* On 22 January 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) published its market study on the Indian telecom sector (Market Study). Initiated by the CCI in January 2020 as part of its advocacy measures, the Market Study (...)

The German Parliament enters into force its 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition bringing significant adjustments regarding advancing digitalization, changes in merger control, as well as data access claims
Hogan Lovells (Munich)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
On January 19, 2021, the amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition ("ARC") has entered into force. In addition to the significant adjustments to the ARC regarding advancing digitalization, changes in merger control as well as data access claims, to pick out just a few of the (...)

The German Parliament passes the digital competition act bringing significant changes to the competition law landscape
Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
Today, the German parliament passed the “Digital Competition Act” which is the 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC). The amended law – which will very likely enter into force January 2021 – will bring about significant changes to the German competition law landscape. (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority announces its decision to launch a fully-fledged investigation against two Big Tech companies (Facebook / WhatsApp)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
Introduction The Competition Board recently announced its decision to launch a fully fledged investigation, ex officio, against Facebook Inc, Facebook Ireland Ltd, WhatsApp Inc and WhatsApp LLC (together, ’Facebook’) in order to assess whether they had violated Article 6 of Law 4054 on the (...)

The EU Commission unveils draft legislation that would overhaul the rules governing the online lives of its citizens
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
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International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Building the Digital Future: Can the EU Foster a Dynamic and Crime-Free Internet?* The European Commission has unveiled draft legislation (the Digital Services Act, or “DSA”) that would overhaul the rules governing the online lives of its citizens. The draft rules are something of a mixed bag. (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority calls a Big Tech company to inform consumers about the data use of apps (Apple App Store)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
Apple informs consumers about the data use of apps following call from regulators worldwide* Apple will indicate in its App Store what personal data each app uses. Starting today, app providers are required to include such information on their products’ pages in app stores. This information (...)

The UK Government announces a new competition regime for tech giants with more data control for consumers, more online promotion opportunities for small businesses, more balance for publishers, and a new Digital Markets Unit to oversee it all
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
New competition regime for tech giants to give consumers more choice and control over their data, and ensure businesses are fairly treated* A dedicated Digital Markets Unit will be set up to introduce and enforce a new code to govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the (...)

The UK Government announces the establishment of a digital markets unit within the CMA to regulate tech companies from April 2021
Government Legal Department (London)
On 27 November 2020, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced the creation of a Digital Markets Unit within the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) which, from April 2021, will introduce and enforce (...)

The German Competition Authority launches sector inquiry into messenger services
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into messenger services* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into messenger services under consumer protection law. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “As a communication channel messenger services have become an integral (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation issues Antitrust Guidelines for the Platform Economic Industry
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
10 Highlights of the Antitrust Guidelines for Platform Economy* On 10 November, the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) issued the Antitrust Guidelines for the Platform Economic Industry (draft for comments) (“Platform Guidelines”). [1] The release of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority issues interim report on its first inquiry of digital services platforms which finds a surge in online messaging use during the COVID-19 pandemic as big digital platforms continue to expand
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Surge in online messaging use as big digital platforms continue to expand* Australians are increasingly turning to online private messaging services to keep in touch with each other, and are overwhelmingly choosing services provided by Facebook and Apple. The ACCC’s first Digital Platform (...)

The Australian Competition Authority amends its consumer data right rules to permit accredited intermediaries
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Consumer Data Right Rules amended to include intermediaries* The ACCC has amended the Consumer Data Right Rules to permit accredited intermediaries to collect data on behalf of third party data recipients, with consumer consent. These amended rules mean accredited businesses can now ask other (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority warns mobile operators that they should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons (Spark / Vodafone / 2degrees)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Mobile operators should improve consumer choice through easier comparisons* The Commerce Commission has told New Zealand’s three mobile network operators that they should provide more meaningful comparison information and guard against overspending by mobile phone consumers. Mobile operators (...)

The EU Commission publishes a review of the vertical block exemption regulation which addresses the questions of big data and access to data
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
Issues around Big Data and access to data as an essential input are rapidly gaining importance in vertical relationships. This was made clear in the Commission’s recently published evaluation of stakeholder input in the context of the review of the VBER. In the past, the Hungarian Competition (...)

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee holds hearings with the four Big Tech companies in its investigation of competition in digital markets (Amazon / Google / Apple / Facebook)
US House of Representatives (Washington DC)
Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Cicilline Statement for Hearing on "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google"* Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee Chair David N. (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the Internet of Things for consumer-related products and services in the EU
ADNOC Group (Abu Dhabi)
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Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (London)
Sector inquiry launched into the Internet of Things On 16 July 2020, the European Commission ("Commission") launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things ("IoT") for consumer-related products and services in the EU. The inquiry complements other actions (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things
Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
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Baker McKenzie (London)
In brief The European Commission (Commission) has launched a sector inquiry into the market for consumer products and services linked to the Internet of Things (IoT). This marks the start of an intensive information gathering process in which hundreds of companies will be asked for information (...)

The EU Commission launches a sector inquiry into the consumer-related devices and services that are connected through a network and can be controlled wirelessly (IoT)
Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On July 16, 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it has launched an antitrust sector inquiry into "consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, for example via a voice assistant or mobile device." Commission (...)

The German Competition Authority demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt demands better information for consumers on the data processed by smart TVs within the scope of its competencies in the area of consumer protection* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published the final report on its sector inquiry into smart TVs. Smart TVs are web-enabled TV (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at online platforms focused on digital advertising and signals a new path for UK clampdown on Big Tech due to the current inadequate competition law toolkit
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Shearman & Sterling (London)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 1 July 2020, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a statement outlining a series of regulatory initiatives aimed at Google and Facebook, focussed on digital advertising. This follows the release of the CMA’s report on digital advertising and online platforms the same (...)

The UK Competition Authority calls for a new regime regulating tech giants
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
New regime needed to take on tech giants* The CMA is calling on the government to introduce a new pro-competition regulatory regime to tackle Google and Facebook’s market power. The dynamic nature of digital advertising markets and the types of concerns identified by the Competition and (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on consumer data rights and competition
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Privacy and consumer data rights are gaining more attention across the globe as more and more consumers come to rely on the services offered in the digital economy. Consumer data rights can include fundamental rights to privacy, as well as regulations controlling the manner in which consumers (...)

The International Competition Network initiates a research project among members on competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy
International Competition Network (ICN)
Scoping paper – Competition law enforcement at the intersection between competition, consumer protection, and privacy* Paper for ICN Steering Group Introduction The relationship between competition and consumer laws and policies has been topical for a decade or more and, if anything, has (...)

The UK Competition Authority releases an interim report on its market study into online platforms and digital advertising
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Meta (Dublin)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) released its much anticipated interim report (the “Interim Report”) on its market study into online platforms and digital advertising (the “Market Study”) on 18 December 2019, following the publication of its statement of scope in July 2019 and the (...)

The Australian Competition Authority concludes its digital platforms inquiry and releases a final report containing 23 proposals for reform
Robins Kaplan (New York)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The Australian competition law watchdog recently concluded an investigation into big technology’s market power, the first comprehensive investigation of its kind (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority issues a report on competition law in the data economy
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA: Competition and consumer protection are fundamental to data economy* With the market for digital products and services is growing, the functionality of competition and consumer protection are important considerations. A report by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), (...)

The US Democrats publish "A Better Deal" policy statement with proposals to change antitrust/competition enforcement
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Silicon Valley)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
Democrats’ "Better Deal" policy statement proposes significant changes for antitrust/competition enforcement* On July 24, 2017, Democratic Party leaders unveiled “A Better Deal,” their plan to improve economic conditions for the American working class. A key element of the Better Deal plan to (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes a report on the commercial use of consumer data
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA publishes findings on the commercial use of consumer data* The CMA has today published a report into the collection and use of consumer data. The report follows a call for information which was issued in January and draws on a range of evidence from businesses, consumers, regulatory (...)

Privacy & Antitrust: An overview of EU and national case law
University of Basilicata (Potenza)
The emergence of multi-sided media platforms occurred in parallel with the success of business models that revolve around the collection and use of personal data, generating revenue from user-data-based profiling and advertising. Given that only some of the firms elaborating those profiles hold (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The US FTC institutes court action against a mobile app company for selling consumer location information (Kochava)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Boston)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
On August 29, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Kochava, Inc. alleging that Kochava engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by selling the “precise location information” of consumers. This suit comes on the heels of the FTC’s announcement earlier this month that it (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two Big Tech companies €10M for commercial use of user data (Google / Apple)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: $20 million sanctions against Google and Apple for commercial use of user data* The Authority has found two violations of the Consumer Code, one for information deficiencies and another for aggressive practices regarding the acquisition and use of consumer data The Italian Competition (...)

The Australian Federal Court imposes a $2.9 million civil penalty on a health company for the sharing of patient personal information with private health insurance brokers and for publishing misleading patient reviews and ratings (HealthEngine)
Ashurst (Sydney)
On 20 August 2020, HealthEngine Pty Ltd ("HealthEngine") was ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to pay a AUD 2.9 million civil penalty for contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") between 30 April 2014 and 30 June 2018 related to reviews, ratings, referrals and sharing (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves a deal between an online platform and a telecom network provider aiming at providing local grocery stores access to e-commerce services (Facebook / JIO Platforms)
Saikrishna (New Delhi)
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National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
Background The Indian antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) approved the popular Facebook-JIO deal (‘the deal’) on June 25, 2020. The approval came two months after Facebook announced to invest whopping $5.7 billion in Reliance Industries Limited’s (‘RIL’) subsidiary JIO (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes an action against an online platform company for allegedly engaging in misleading conduct and making false or misleading representations to customers (Google)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In October 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC") decided to take action against Google LLC and Google Australia Pty Ltd (collectively, "Google") in the Federal Court of Australia for allegedly engaging in misleading conduct and making false or misleading (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court declares that members of governing bodies of companies may be penalised for competition law infringements and that their identity can be revealed (Infraestructuras Ferroviarias)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Madrid)
In its judgment dated 9 April 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court (the ’SC’) found that the members of the governing bodies of undertakings that infringe competition rules can be penalised for their participation in those infringements regardless of the individual or collegiate nature of the (...)

The EU Commission announces that it is investigating an e-commerce platform’s use of third-party data as part of a wider probe into its business practices (Amazon)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Pinsent Masons (London)
The European Commission (the EU’s antitrust regulator) has announced that it is investigating Amazon’s use of third-party data as part of a wider probe into its business practices. Many retailers use Amazon as a platform to sell their products and, in doing so, provide Amazon with sales data. At (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority seeks to prohibit alleged anticompetitive practices in real estate industry (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law (Ottawa)
Introduction Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), an independent law enforcement agency that assists the Commissioner of Competition (the "Commissioner") in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), and the Canadian real estate industry are at odds again. (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Court of Justice preliminarily determines that discriminatory access to data may constitute an abuse of a dominant position (Enel)
Ashurst (Brussels)
On 12 May 2022, the European Court of Justice ("the Court") delivered a preliminary ruling on abuse of dominance through the exploitation of data. As the historic monopolist, ENEL had access to customer data which it used to strengthen its position. Key takeaways ENEL prevented its (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes action against alleged misleading conduct by a Big Tech company for publishing crypto ads on social media (Meta)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC takes action over alleged misleading conduct by Meta for publishing scam celebrity crypto ads on Facebook* The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Facebook owner Meta Platforms, Inc. and Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (together: Meta) alleging that they engaged in (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an electricity supplier €300M for abuse of dominance (Engie / EDF)
University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
The French Competition Authority ("FCA") has fined Électricité de France ("EDF") EUR 300 million for taking advantage of its dominant position as public provider of regulated electricity tariffs. It was found that EDF engaged in conduct with the objective of maintaining its market share in the (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an electricity provider and several of its subsidiaries €300M for abuse of a dominant position (Engie / EDF)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
As part of a negotiated procedure, the Autorité fines EDF 300 million euros, and several of its subsidiaries, for abuse of a dominant position* Background Following a complaint from Engie and the carrying out of dawn raids, the Autorité de la concurrence issues today a decision by which it (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts a Big Tech company’s revised offer of commitments relating to its proposed removal of third-party cookies from a browser (Google Privacy Sandbox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA to keep ‘close eye’ on Google as it secures final Privacy Sandbox commitments* The CMA has accepted a revised offer from Google of commitments relating to its proposed removal of third-party cookies from the Chrome browser (known as the Privacy Sandbox proposals). The CMA has secured (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts a Big Tech company’s commitments in its treatment of third-party cookies (Google Privacy Sandbox)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 February 2022, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued its decision to accept the commitments offered by Google in relation to its Privacy Sandbox proposals (“the Decision”). The Decision is noteworthy in several respects. First, it highlights the complicated tradeoffs (...)

The US State of New York AG leads a multi-State coalition in appealing the District Court’s dismissal of their lawsuit against a social media company for its monopoly (Facebook)
Office of the New York State Attorney General (Albany)
Attorney General James Leads Multistate Coalition in Continuing Fight to End Facebook’s Illegal Monopoly* NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today led a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in continuing to fight to end Facebook’s illegal efforts to (...)

The German Competition Authority designates a parent company of a Big Tech company as an undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets (Google / Alphabet)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
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Hausfeld (Berlin)
On 30 December 2021, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, “FCO”) designated Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, (“Google”) as an ‘undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets’. The FCO is now considering whether to prohibit particular anti-competitive (...)

The Polish Competition Authority investigates the data processing policy of a Big Tech company (Apple)
Polish Competition Authority (Warsaw)
Apple - the President of UOKiK initiates an investigation* Do the new rules of the Privacy Policy and Personal Data Processing Policy introduced by Apple for iOS devices violate competition law? President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has initiated an investigation into the matter. When we use (...)

The UK Competition Authority secures improved commitments from a Big Tech company on its proposals to remove third-party cookies and other functionalities from its browser (Google Privacy Sandbox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA secures improved commitments on Google’s Privacy Sandbox* The CMA has secured improved commitments from Google on its proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser. It has been investigating Google’s proposals since the start of the year due to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its third digital platform services inquiry interim report and proposes that it be given the power to develop and implement a mandatory search engine choice screen in web browsers (Google)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Benefits from more competition in internet search* Measures addressing Google’s dominance in search engine services, including a choice screen that provides consumers with a selection of search engines, should be introduced in Australia, as set out in the ACCC’s third Digital Platform Services (...)

The US FTC files an amended complaint against a social media company alleging it resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to crush competition after a string of failed attempts to innovate (Facebook)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Alleges Facebook Resorted to Illegal Buy-or-Bury Scheme to Crush Competition After String of Failed Attempts to Innovate* Agency’s amended complaint details how the monopolist survived existential threats by illegally acquiring innovative competitors and burying successful app developers. (...)

The European Data Protection Board rejects the request of the Hamburg Data Protection Authority to prevent a social media company to share data with a subsidiary (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Data exchange between WhatsApp and Facebook remains unregulated at European level* European Board sees no urgent need for action The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has rejected the request of the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) to impose (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into possible abuse of dominance by a Big Tech company in the online advertising technology sector (Google ad tech)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anticompetitive conduct by Google in the online advertising technology sector* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Google has violated EU competition rules by favouring its own online (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches a market study into two Big Tech companies’ mobile ecosystems over concerns that they might abuse their dominant position (Google / Apple)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA to scrutinise Apple and Google mobile ecosystems* The CMA has launched a market study into Apple’s and Google’s mobile ecosystems over concerns they have market power which is harming users and other businesses. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is taking a closer look at whether (...)

The UK Competition Authority secures commitments from a Big Tech company to address concerns about its proposal to remove third-party cookies on its main internet browser (Google Privacy Sandbox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA to have key oversight role over Google’s planned removal of third-party cookies* Following an investigation, the CMA has secured commitments from Google to address concerns about Google’s proposal to remove third-party cookies on Chrome. The CMA is to take up a role in the design and (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates a social media company’s use of ad data (Facebook)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA investigates Facebook’s use of ad data* The CMA is investigating whether Facebook might be abusing a dominant position in the social media or digital advertising markets through its collection and use of advertising data. Facebook login on a mobile and laptop screen The Competition and (...)

The German Competition Authority uses new rules for large digital players to examine a Big Tech company’s data processing terms (Google)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Proceeding against Google based on new rules for large digital players (Section 19a GWB) – Bundeskartellamt examines Google’s significance for competition across markets and its data processing terms* The Bundeskartellamt has today initiated two proceedings against Google Germany GmbH, Hamburg, (...)

The Hamburg Data Protection Authority bans a social media company from sharing user data between its subsidiary companies (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Order of the HmbBfDI: Ban of further processing of WhatsApp user data by Facebook* The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) issued an order prohibiting Facebook Ireland Ltd. from processing personal data from WhatsApp for its own purposes. The order is (...)

The Delhi High Court reviews the Competition Authority’s inquiry into a Big Tech company’s data privacy policy (WhatsApp)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
Delhi High Court Judgement on CCI Inquiry into WhatsApp’s new data privacy policy in India* While reporting on the initial media news in my earlier blog on the same topic published on 23 April 21 , I had promised to come back with a detailed reporting on the above judgment which was then not (...)

The Delhi High Court upholds the Competition Authority’s order directing an investigation into the privacy policy rolled out by a Big Tech company (WhatsApp)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Vahura (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS Mere pendency of some issues before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (“Supreme Court”), or any of the High Courts does not necessarily bar CCI from exercising jurisdiction otherwise vested with it under the Act. BRIEF FACTS Whatsapp LLC (“WhatsApp”) is the proprietor of the popular (...)

The Hamburg Data Protection Authority opens proceedings against a social media company to stop sharing user data from its subsidiary company (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Urgency procedure opened against Facebook in connection with the new WhatsApp terms of use* The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) opened proceedings against Facebook Ireland Ltd. with the aim of issuing an immediately enforceable order with the (...)

The Indian Competition Authority initiates an investigation into a Big Tech company’s new privacy policy and user agreement that does not let users opt out (WhatsApp)
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
KEY POINTS CCI is empowered to initiate an investigation into any conduct which may contravene the provisions of the Act if the CCI knows that such conduct is about to be committed. The CCI is obligated to prevent practices from having an adverse effect on competition. BRIEF FACTS CCI (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Court doubts the compatibility with EU law of the Competition Authority’s approach of linking data protection and competition law to find an abuse of dominance and files a request for a preliminary ruling (Facebook)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Is Facebook abusing its dominant position in the market by collecting data on its own platforms and on third-party websites and combining it in a large data pool? The Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has decided that unless the users consent to the use of the data, Facebook is abusing its position - (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects the implementation of interim measures but continues to investigate a Big Tech company’s alleged abuse of a dominant position (Apple)
University Paris-Panthéon-Assas
On 23 October 2020, several associations representing various players of the online advertising sector filed a complaint before the French Competition Authority, alleging that Apple abused its dominance on the application distribution market for IOS devices by imposing on app developers (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation publishes anti-monopoly guidelines on platform economy
Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
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University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing)
On 10 November 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”), China’s competition authority, released the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on the Platform Economy (Draft for Public Opinions Solicitation) (the “Draft”). Around three months later, on 7 February 2021, the Anti-Monopoly (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens an investigation into a Big Tech company’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ browser changes (Google Privacy Sandbox)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA to investigate Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ browser changes* The CMA has opened an investigation into Google’s proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser. The investigation will assess whether the proposals could cause advertising spend to become (...)

The US State of Colorado AG leads a multi-State lawsuit against a Big Tech company to end its monopoly in the online search market (Google)
Office of the Colorado State Attorney General (Denver)
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser leads multistate lawsuit seeking to end Google’s illegal monopoly in search market* Bipartisan coalition of 38 Attorneys General allege Google illegally maintained a monopoly, created insurmountable barriers to entry for competitors Dec. 17, 2020 (DENVER, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority alleges that a dominant social media platform misled consumers when promoting an app to ’protect’ users’ data to identify potential acquisitions (Facebook Onavo Protect)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC alleges Facebook misled consumers when promoting app to ’protect’ users’ data* The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Facebook, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries for false, misleading or deceptive conduct when promoting Facebook’s Onavo Protect mobile app to (...)

The US State of Texas AG leads mul­ti-State coali­tion in law­suit against a Big Tech company for anti­com­pet­i­tive conduct, exclusionary prac­tices, and decep­tive misrepresentations (Google)
Office of the Texas State Attorney General (Austin)
AG Pax­ton Leads Mul­ti­state Coali­tion in Law­suit Against Google for Anti­com­pet­i­tive Prac­tices and Decep­tive Misrepresentations* Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that the State of Texas is leading a multistate coalition in a lawsuit against Google for multiple violations of federal (...)

The US State of New York AG leads a bipartisan lawsuit by 46 State AGs, the District of Columbia AG, and the Territory of Guam AG seeking to end a dominant social network company’s allegedly illegal monopoly, including predatory acquisitions and a reduction of privacy protections for consumers (Facebook)
Office of the New York State Attorney General (Albany)
Attorney General James Leads Multistate Lawsuit Seeking to End Facebook’s Illegal Monopoly* AG James Leads Bipartisan Coalition of 48 Attorneys General Charging Anticompetitive Conduct Facebook Thwarted Competition, Reduced Consumer Privacy for Profits New York Attorney General Letitia James (...)

The US FTC sues the world’s dominant social network company for illegal monopolization, requiring the divestment of its acquisitions of up-and-coming rivals, and prohibits the imposition of anti-competitive conditions on software developers (Facebook)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Sues Facebook for Illegal Monopolization* The Federal Trade Commission today sued Facebook, alleging that the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct. Following a lengthy investigation in cooperation (...)

The UK Competition Authority, along with other national competition authorities, secures privacy changes to a tech company’s mobile app store (Apple App Store)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA and global partners secure privacy changes to the App Store* Following international intervention, Apple will shortly indicate on its App Store what personal data each app uses, empowering consumer choice. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), along with the Netherlands (...)

The US FTC settles allegations that a real-time communications platform offering videoconferencing software has engaged in a series of unfair practices and requires it to enhance its security procedures (Zoom) Free
Norton Rose Fulbright (New York)
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom) gained enough popularity to attract the FTC’s attention, including to its security practices. The FTC-Zoom settlement announced on November 9, 2020, which requires Zoom to implement a robust information security program, marked (...)

The Indian Competition Authority orders another investigation against a Big Tech company’s alleged abuse of dominance in the market for online app-based payments (Google UPI)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI orders another investigation against Google’s alleged abuse of dominance by Google pay in the market for online app based payments* By way of order dated 09/11/2020, the Competition Commission of India (“Commission/CCI”) has directed the Director-General to cause an investigation against (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an investigation against a search engine for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the market for display advertising (Google)
University of Mannheim (Mannheim)
Who strikes next? Italian Competition Authority v Google* Competition authorities are increasingly scrutinizing Google around the globe: The European Commission was the first authority to investigate Google and has issued three record-level fines in Google Shopping, Google Android and Google (...)

The US DoJ files an antitrust complaint against a search engine for abuse of dominance (Google)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington DC)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Washington DC)
On October 20, the U.S. Department of Justice filed its long-awaited antitrust complaint against Google, joined by 11 state Attorneys General (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. (...)

The US DoJ files a complaint against a search engine for its unlawful monopolization of the search and the search advertising markets (Google)
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
On 20 October 2020, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and 11 State Attorney-Generals filed a much anticipated complaint against Google for its unlawful monopolisation of the search and search advertising markets in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act (the Complaint). The Complaint is the (...)

The US DOJ and 11 State AGs start a landmark court case against a Big Tech company for exclusionary agreements in the search and search advertising markets (Google)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws* Department Files Complaint Against Google to Restore Competition in Search and Search Advertising Markets Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the (...)

The US DoJ and eleven States with Republican attorneys general sued a Big Tech company for monopolizing the markets for general internet search services, search advertising, and “general search text” advertising (Google)
University of Missouri
Why the Federal Government’s Antitrust Case Against Google Should—and Likely Will—Fail* On October 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and eleven states with Republican attorneys general sued Google for monopolizing and attempting to monopolize the markets for general internet search (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates an investigation against the operator of a video-sharing social media site due to failure to provide users with sufficient information on time (TikTok)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The Competition Authority has initiated a proceeding against TikTok* The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated an investigation against the operator of video sharing social media site TikTok due to failure to provide users with sufficient information on time. TikTok is a widely (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches six investigations against some of the main operators at the global level in cloud computing services (Google Drive / Apple iCloud / Dropbox)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Antitrust: Investigations launched against Google, Apple and Dropbox for their cloud computing services* The proceedings relate to allegedly unfair commercial practices and the possible presence of unfair terms in the contractual conditions The Italian Competition Authority has launched six (...)

The Australian Competition Authority takes action against an online search engine about allegations that misled consumers about the collection and use of their personal information online (Google)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
Australia’s competition and consumer regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), recently decided to take action against Google LLC (Google) in relation to allegations that it misled consumers about the collection and use of their personal information online, including, (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms abuse of dominance over data collection by an online platform without the user’s explicit consent (Facebook)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
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Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) rejected Facebook’s application for suspensive effect in connection to its appeal to the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf against the decision of the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) prohibiting Facebook from collecting and processing Facebook users’ data generated (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice overturns the Dusseldorf Court of Appeals’ interim decision and finds an online social media platform to have abused its power in collecting data from different sources (Facebook)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
On June 23, 2020, the Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”) overturned the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals’ (“DCA”) interim decision and rejected Facebook Inc.’s (“Facebook”) request to suspend the enforceability of the Federal Cartel Office’s (“FCO”) prohibition decision. The FCJ disagreed with the FCO’s (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice provisionally confirms an allegation against a social media company for abusing its dominant position (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Federal Court of Justice provisionally confirms allegation of Facebook abusing dominant position* Facebook uses terms of service that also allow for the processing and use of user data that are collected online outside the Facebook platform. The Bundeskartellamt prohibited Facebook from (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice preliminarily confirms that an online platform abused its dominant position on the national market of social networks (Facebook)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 June 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (“FCJ”), in summary proceedings, preliminarily confirmed the finding of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) that Facebook had abused its dominant position. It overturned the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf that had suspended the (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority fines a social media company $9 million for misleading privacy claims (Facebook misleading privacy claims)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Facebook to pay $9 million penalty to settle Competition Bureau concerns about misleading privacy claims* Facebook Inc. will pay a $9 million penalty after the Competition Bureau concluded that the company made false or misleading claims about the privacy of Canadians’ personal information on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its final report on customer loyalty schemes with implications for all businesses that collect and use personal information
Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
The recommendations in the ACCC’s final report on loyalty schemes have implications for all businesses that collect and use personal information The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released the final report and recommendations coming out of its market study into (...)

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reformulates legal doctrines created for physical property to apply to new technology-based torts (HiQ / LinkedIn)
Constantine Cannon (Washington)
THE NINTH CIRCUIT’S DECISION IN HIQ V LINKEDIN: DATA SCRAPING MAY HAVE A FUTURE, BUT FOR HOW LONG?* Do companies that gather public information have an obligation to make that information available en masse to would-be competitors? Do competitors have a right to access those companies’ websites (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court quashes the Competition Authority’s findings that a social network abused its dominant position by improperly combining user data that it has collected from various sources (Facebook)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
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Hausfeld (Berlin)
As previously reported in this Bulletin, on 6 February 2019, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office – “FCO”) found that Facebook abused its dominance by improperly combining user data that it collected from various sources. As a remedy, the FCO imposed far-reaching restrictions on (...)

The German Competition Authority finds an online platform of the social network to be dominant in the market for social networks and prohibits the company from combining user data from different sources (Facebook)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The FCO issued a decision in its Facebook proceeding on 7th February 2019 which concerns the interface between competition law and data protection law. Facebook’s terms and conditions require the user to consent to Facebook’s unrestricted collection of user data and assignment of non-Facebook (...)

The German Competition Authority holds that matching the data collected by a social network company constitutes an antitrust violation (Facebook)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Doing double damage: The German competition authority’s Facebook decision manages to undermine both antitrust and data protection law* The German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office or FCO) this week reached a decision in its nearly 3-year-old Facebook investigation. The decision appears to (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that the data gathering practices of a social network are an abuse of its dominant position, and orders amendments in its data processing policy (Facebook)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 February 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded administrative proceedings concerning the data gathering practices of Facebook Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Germany (together “Facebook”). The FCO found that Facebook abused its dominant position by making the private use (...)

The German Competition Authority rules that a social network abused its dominant position by improperly combining the user data that it collected (Facebook)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
On February 6th, the Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office - “FCO”) ruled that Facebook abused its dominance by improperly combining user data that it collected. The FCO imposed far-reaching restrictions on Facebook’s processing of user data in the future, including a requirement that (...)

The German Competition Authority orders a social network company to stop collecting and matching data of its users without explicit consent as it constitutes an abuse of dominance (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt hits "don’t like"-button on Facebook* On February 7, 2019, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued its long-awaited decision in the Facebook case, see press release and background paper in English here. It qualifies Facebook’s current practice of collecting and matching (...)

The German Competition Authority forces a social network company to change its data collection policy (Facebook)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Dusseldorf)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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 (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a social network company from abusing its dominant position by combining its user data from different sources (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt / Digital Economy Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources* Bonn, 7 February 2019: The Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data. According to Facebook’s terms and conditions (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines two companies €109M for abusing their dominance in the regulated retail energy markets to gain customers (Enel / Acea)
Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome)
On 8 January 2019, the Italian Competition Authority ("AGCM") fined Enel (the national former incumbent in the electricity sector) for over EUR 93 million and Acea (the Rome municipality utility company) for over EUR 16 million for abusing dominance in regulated retail energy markets to gain (...)

The Italian Competition Authority fines a social network €10 million for unfair commercial practices using its subscribers’ data for commercial purposes (Facebook)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Facebook fined 10 million Euros by the ICA for unfair commercial practices for using its subscribers’ data for commercial purposes On 29 November 2018 the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), closed the investigation opened last April for alleged violations of the Consumer Code by Facebook (...)

The EU Commission sends out formal requests for information to investigate allegations of anticompetitive conduct by a multinational online retailer (Amazon)
Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau
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Hausfeld (Berlin)
In September 2018, the European Commission (“EC”) sent out formal requests for information (“RFIs”) to investigate allegations of an anticompetitive conduct by Amazon. The investigation relates to the interdependencies between Amazon’s third-party sales platform for retailers (“Amazon Marketplace”) (...)

The EU Commission looks into an online platform’s use of sales data (Amazon)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
The Amazon investigation and Europe’s "Big Tech" Crusade* The dust has barely settled on the European Commission’s record-breaking €4.3 Billion Google Android fine, but already the European Commission is gearing up for its next high-profile case. Last month, Margrethe Vestager dropped a (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court dismisses an appeal and upholds the Court of Appeal’s order requiring a professional association to stop restricting its members’ use of real estate data (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Court order upheld requiring TREB to stop restricting its members’ use of real estate data* The Competition Bureau today welcomes the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) dismissal of the Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) application seeking leave to appeal a December 2017 decision from the Federal (...)

The German Competition Authority indicates in preliminary assessment of a possible abuse of dominance case that data collection and use from third-party sources is abusive (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt sends preliminary assessment to Facebook* On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers (...)

The Indian Competition Authority clears a dominant mobile messaging service of abuse of dominance allegations (Fight for Transparency Society / WhatsApp)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI closes allegation of abuse of dominance against WhatsApp* CCI vide its recent order dated June 01, 2017 has closed an allegation of abuse of dominant position against popular message service WhatsApp. The complaint against WhatsApp was filed by an individual Vinod Kumar Gupta on behalf of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation into competition law breaches and personal data (WhatsApp)
White & Case (Milan)
Misleading Terms & Conditions and Unfair Contract Terms: The Italian Competition Authority Opens Two Investigations against WhatsApp Inc.* On 28 October 2016, the Italian Competition Authority (the “Authority”) opened two investigations against WhatsApp Inc. for alleged unfair commercial (...)

The French and German Competition Authorities publish a joint study on competition law and data
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The French Autorité de la concurrence and the German Bundeskartellamt publish joint paper on data and its implications for Competition Law* The increasing collection, processing and commercial use of data in digital markets has prompted a broad debate about the role of data in corporate (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a social network company regarding potential abuse of dominance (Facebook)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The German Federal Cartel Office (the FCO) has announced that it has initiated proceedings against Facebook for the company’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in a market for social networks. The FCO appears to be taking the position that, as a firm with a possibly dominant position, (...)

The Chinese Supreme Court elaborates detailed fundamental principles of anti-monopoly law, in particular in the context of abuse of dominance on the internet market, in its first anti-monopoly case (Qihoo / Tencent)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
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King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
The Supreme Court Goes Online with Anti-Monopoly Law Principles:A Review of Qihoo v.s. Tencent Abuse of Market Dominance Case* Introduction On 15 November 2011, Qihoo issued proceedings against Tencent in the Guangdong Higher Court, asserting that Tencent had abused its dominant position, (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures against a gas provider and enjoins it to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file (GDF Suez / Direct Energie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence orders GDF Suez to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file.* This access will enable competitors of GDF Suez to compete with the incumbent operator on an equal footing by enabling them to let customers better know about the (...)

The Canadian Supreme Court declines an application for leave to appeal in an antitrust case against a trade association (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Ferrero (Toronto)
Supreme Court of Canada declines Toronto Real Estate Board appeal* The Supreme Court of Canada recently dismissed the application by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) for leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal’s judgment overruling a decision of the Competition Tribunal that had (...)

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal rules that abuse of dominance provisions could potentially apply to a person that controls a market without competing in that market (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Canadian Federal Court of Appeal Expands Scope of Competition Act’s Abuse of Dominance Provisions* On February 3, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the Competition Tribunal’s 2013 decision dismissing the Commissioner of Competition’s abuse of dominance allegations against the Toronto (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses an abuse of dominance case against a real estate board on the grounds that because the board does not compete with its members it cannot be found to have abused its dominance (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Competition Tribunal Dismisses Abuse of Dominance Case Against The Toronto Real Estate Board* Here is an item on an important decision of Canada’s Competition Tribunal written by my partners George Addy, Sandra Forbes, John Bodrug and Jim Dinning. It is especially relevant for trade (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses an abuse of dominance case in the market for residential real estate brokerage services (Toronto Real Estate Board)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
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Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Competition Tribunal Dismisses Abuse of Dominance Case Against The Toronto Real Estate Board* On April 15, 2013, the Canadian Competition Tribunal released its decision dismissing the Commissioner of Competition’s application against the Toronto Real Estate Board (“TREB”). The Commissioner had (...)

The Chinese Ministry of Information and Industry Technology promulgates the provisions on regulating the market order of internet information services
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Institute of American Studies (Beijing)
MIIT published the Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services (Internet Information Service Rules) on 31 December 2011, which will take effect on 15 March 2012. MIIT had invited comments on two earlier drafts of the Internet Information Service Rules in January (...)

Mergers

The UK Competition Authority finds an acquisition deal between two major cyber security companies could reduce competition in cyber safety software options (Avast / NortonLifeLock)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
CMA finds NortonLifeLock purchase of Avast could reduce competition* The CMA has found that NortonLifeLock’s approximately £6bn purchase of Avast raises competition concerns and may now be referred for an in-depth investigation. NortonLifeLock and Avast both offer cyber safety software to (...)

The US DoJ sues to block a merger between a healthcare technology provider and a health company which would result in the use of competitively sensitive claims data of millions of Americans to reduce competition and innovation (UnitedHealth Group / Change Healthcare)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Justice Department Sues to Block UnitedHealth Group’s Acquisition of Change Healthcare* Acquisition Would Allow Health Care Giant to Use Competitively Sensitive Claims Data of Hundreds of Millions of Americans to Reduce Competition and Innovation to the Detriment of Health Insurance Consumers (...)

The German Competition Authority clears unconditionally but "with unease" the acquisition of a CRM platform by a social media company (Meta / Kustomer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook)* Meta Platforms Inc., Menlo Park/USA (formerly Facebook, Inc.) has announced that it intends to acquire the company Kustomer Inc. Kustomer is a company based in New York (USA) which offers its business customers a (...)

The EU Commission clears the merger between a Big Tech company and a provider of customer service and support CRM software, subject to conditions (Meta / Kustomer)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook), subject to conditions* The European Commission has today approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Meta (formerly Facebook). The approval is conditional on full compliance with (...)

The UK Competition Authority conducts a Phase I investigation into a transcription software merger in the healthcare market (Microsoft / Nuance)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Anticipated acquisition by Microsoft Corporation of Nuance Communications Inc.* Notice under section 96(2a) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) published pursuant to section 107(1)(I) of the Act The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) hereby gives notice pursuant to section 96(2A) of (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves the acquisition of a transcription software company active in the healthcare sector and customer engagement solutions by a global technology company (Microsoft / Nuance)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Nuance by Microsoft* The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Nuance Communications, Inc. (‘Nuance’) by Microsoft Corporation (‘Microsoft’). The Commission concluded that the (...)

The German Competition Authority considers the acquisition of a CRM platform by a social media platform to be subject to merger notification (Meta / Kustomer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt considers Meta/Kustomer merger to be subject to notification* Meta Platforms Inc., Menlo Park/USA (formerly Facebook, Inc.) has announced that it intends to acquire the company Kustomer Inc. Kustomer is a company based in New York (USA) which offers its business customers a (...)

The Australian Competition Authority does not oppose the merger between a Big Tech company and a CRM platform (Meta / Kustomer)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC will not oppose Meta’s proposed acquisition of Kustomer* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Meta, formerly known as Facebook Inc. Kustomer is a small customer relationship management (CRM) software-as-a-service provider based in the USA that focuses on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority gives a green light to a proposed acquisition in the healthcare transcription sector (Microsoft / Nuance)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Nuance not opposed* The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Nuance Inc. by Microsoft Corporation. Nuance supplies speech recognition and transcription software primarily to the healthcare market, as well as customer engagement software that (...)

The UK Competition Authority unconditionally clears the merger between a Big Tech company and a provider of CRM software (Meta / Kustomer)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority (CMA) (London)
Anticipated acquisition by Facebook, Inc. of Kustomer, Inc.* Summary of the CMA’s decision on relevant merger situation and substantial lessening of competition SUMMARY 1. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the anticipated acquisition by Facebook, Inc. (Facebook) of (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation following a referral from Austria to assess the proposed acquisition of a company specialized in the supply of customer relationship management software by a Big Tech company (Facebook / Kustomer)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the (...)

The German Competition Authority examines whether the acquisition of a CRM platform by a social media platform is subject to notification (Facebook / Kustomer)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt examines whether Facebook / Kustomer merger is subject to notification* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a proceeding against Facebook to examine whether its planned acquisition of the start-up Kustomer falls under the scope of German merger control. Kustomer is based in New (...)

The UK Competition Authority updates its Merger Assessment Guidelines
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has updated its guidelines on the way it assesses mergers to take account of the significant economic changes that have taken place since it published its previous guidance in 2010. The CMA is taking an increasingly interventionist approach to (...)

The EU Commission clears subject to conditions the acquisition of a healthcare devices manufacturer by a US tech giant (Fitbit / Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 December 2020, following a Phase II investigation, the Commission approved Google’s acquisition of Fitbit subject to commitments. Fitbit is an American company that develops and sells wearable fitness devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, as well as related software and (...)

The EU Commission clears the acquisition of a manufacturer of consumer-health devices by a Big Tech company, subject to conditions (Fitbit / Google)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Fitbit by Google, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Google. Executive (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the market of music recognition for smartphones, tablets and PCs (Apple / Shazam)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission clears Apple’s acquisition of Shazam* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on considering non-price effects in merger control
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. When firms compete, they make a range of decisions about the characteristics of their products. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on at least some of these characteristics, which determine the value they obtain from the product. Price is one such characteristic, but (...)

The EU Commission fines a social network company for providing misleading information during a merger investigation (Facebook / WhatsApp)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines Facebook €110 million for providing misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of (...)

The EU Commission clears the acquisition of a leading global professional social networking platform by a leading global software company, subject to 5-year remedies that include monitoring and prevention of tying (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
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European Parliament (Brussels)
Microsoft/LinkedIn: Big data and conglomerate effects in tech markets* In a nutshell: The Microsoft/LinkedIn case is an important development in the Commission’s assessment of mergers involving data-related issues in tech industries. It provides further guidance on the framework for the (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the professional social networks market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES ACQUISITION OF LINKEDIN BY MICROSOFT, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the professional social network market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
Milbank (London)
European Commission Approves Microsoft Acquisition of LinkedIn Subject to Conditions* On 6 December 2016, the European Commission cleared the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to Microsoft granting LinkedIn’s competitors access to certain LinkedIn tools. “Big Data” concerns analysed (...)

The EU Commission invites third party comments on a proposed acquisition in information technology sector (Microsoft / Linkedin)
Steptoe & Johnson (London)
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Fieldfisher (London)
Microsoft/LinkedIn: could Big Data be a Big Problem?*On 14 October 2016, Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn was notified to the European Commission for merger clearance. The EU regulator’s initial deadline to decide whether to approve the deal or refer it for in-depth (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally approves in first phase the acquisition of a real time messaging services provider by a social networking company (Facebook / WhatsApp)
European Parliament (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
"What’s Up with Merger Control in the Digital Sector? Lessons from the Facebook/WhatsApp EU merger case"* The Facebook/WhatsApp decision provides an insight into how the Commission tackles novel issues in the application of merger control rules to the digital sector, in particular to free (...)

The EU Commission unconditionally clears the acquisition of a real-time messaging services provider by social networking company (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Ramón y Cajal (Madrid)
Background information On 3 October 2014 the European Commission ("Commission") unconditionally clears in first phase the €14 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook (the “Transaction”). The Transaction was already conditionally authorized in April 2014 by the US Federal Trade Commission (...)

The EU Commission clears an acquisition in the online advertising market (Google / DoubleClick)
JG Associates (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2008"* On 11 March the Commission decided to clear the proposed acquisition of the online advertising technology company DoubleClick by Google, both based in the US. Google operates an internet search engine that offers search (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the online advertising market applying for the first time the non-horizontal merger guidelines (Google / DoubleClick)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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European Commission (Brussels)
"Google/DoubleClick: The first test for the Commission’s nonhorizontal merger guidelines"* I. Introduction The Google/DoubleClick merger generated considerable interest as it concerned the ubiquitous search engine that most Europeans use in their daily lives. From a competition policy (...)

The US FTC unconditionally clears a $3.1 billion acquisition of an internet advertiser on the grounds that it is unlikely to substantially lessen competition (Google / DoubleClick)
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
Federal Trade Commission Closes Google/DoubleClick Investigation* Proposed Acquisition Unlikely to Substantially Lessen Competition The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it will not seek to block Google Inc.’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Internet advertising server (...)

Procedures

The UK Supreme Court dismisses a single claimant’s landmark class action attempt against a Big Tech company for alleged contraventions of data protection law, but lowers the bar for future representative actions (Google / Lloyd)
Covington & Burling (London)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (London)
On 10 November 2021, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of Google in a landmark judgment against an attempt by a single claimant, Mr Richard Lloyd, to bring a representative action on behalf of a class of 4 million iPhone users relating to Google’s alleged contraventions of data protection (...)

The US DoJ gives permission to three States to join its antitrust lawsuit against a Big Tech company for maintaining monopolies in search and search advertising (Google)
US Department of Justice (Washington DC)
Three Additional States Ask Court To Join Justice Department Antitrust Suit Against Google* Today, the Attorneys General of Michigan and Wisconsin filed for permission to join the antitrust lawsuit filed by the United States and eleven other state Attorneys General against monopolist Google. (...)

The EU General Court President issues two orders for interim measures on personal data gathered in EU antitrust probes against a major social media platform (Facebook)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Milan)
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Clifford Chance (Brussels)
In the context of ongoing antitrust investigations into Facebook Inc.’s (‘Facebook’) data-related practices (AT.40628) and Facebook marketplace (AT.40684), on 13 March 2020 the European Commission (‘Commission’) issued two formal requests for information (‘RFIs’), requiring the company to produce a (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf orders the suspensive effect of an appeal against the German Competition Authority’s decision concerning a social network company (Facebook)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 August 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) granted Facebook’s request for an injunction against the immediate application of measures imposed by the German Federal Cartel Office (the “FCO”) arising from the FCO’s finding in February 2019 that Facebook abused its dominant (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf grants a social network company the suspensive effect to an appeal in an interim decision (Facebook)
Hunton Andrews Kurth (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Frankfurt)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
In February of this year the German antitrust agency, the Federal Cartel Office, issued a decision against Facebook regarding their handling of user data. Facebook appealed and on August 26, 2019, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal in an interim decision granted suspensive effect to Facebook’s (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf suspends an order of the German Competition Authority on an alleged abuse of dominance by a major social network (Facebook)
Baker Botts (London)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
On 26 August 2019, a German appeal court suspended an order of the German competition authority (the “FCO”) which had found that Facebook’s data processing practices in Germany constituted an abuse of dominance in breach of German antitrust rules (the “decision”). Expressing serious doubts as to the (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf suspends the decision of the German Competition Authority which prevented data-gathering practices from a social network company (Facebook)
Ashurst (Frankfurt)
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Ashurst (London)
On 26 August 2019, the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf suspended the German Federal Cartel Office’s (’FCO’ or Bundeskartellamt) decision to prevent Facebook from combining user data from various sources such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and unrelated sites that use Facebook analytics and (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf suspends the effect of the Competition Authority’s decision after receiving a complaint questioning the finding of an abuse of dominance in the social network market (Facebook)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
On 26 August 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (“Court”) suspended the effect of the Facebook decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) after a complaint by Facebook questioning in particular the FCO’s finding of an abuse of a dominant market position by Facebook. Facebook had (...)

The Irish Supreme Court upholds the High Court judgement restraining the Competition Authority from reviewing certain electronic documents seized in a dawn raid (CRH)
The Bar of Ireland - The Law Library
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University Dublin College (UCD)
Introduction On 29 May 2017, the Irish Supreme Court handed down a judgment in the case of CRH plc, Irish Cement Limited & Séamus Lynch v The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in relation to the application of the statutory powers of entry, search, seizure and retention of (...)

The US District Court for the District of New Jersey rules that the Federal Trade Commission can pursue claims against a company for failure to have adequate data security (Wyndham Worldwide)
Gibson Dunn (Washington)
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O’Melveny & Myers (Washington DC)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Issue In a decision that is likely to result in increased federal enforcement actions against companies that suffer data security breaches but are found not to (...)

Regulatory

The Australian Competition Authority joins other national regulators to create a forum for regulating digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Agencies form Digital Platform Regulators Forum* The ACCC, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and Office of the eSafety Commissioner have together formed the Digital Platform Regulators Forum. “The new Digital Platform Regulators (...)

The Australian Competition Authority seeks public feedback on potential new rules for large digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Feedback sought on potential new rules for large digital platforms* The ACCC is seeking views from consumers, businesses and other parties on options for legislative reform to address concerns about the dominance of digital platforms. A discussion paper, released today, outlines options for (...)

The EU Commission proposes a Data Act to enhance data access and sharing within the Union
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On February 23, 2022, the European Commission ("Commission") published a proposal for a Data Act which aims at enhancing data access and use within the European Union ("EU"). The Data Act will be applicable to both personal and non-personal data, and will be relevant for all companies (...)

The UK Competition Authority and the Data Protection Authority publish a joint statement on how competition and data protection issues overlap in the digital economy
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The well-known (and somewhat over-simplistic) paradox that data protection laws aim to keep personal data contained whilst competition law wants personal data to be more freely available is the premise behind the two UK regulators’ latest collaboration. In the last two years, the UK Data (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority announces move by a Big Tech company to require software developers to add information about data use to apps in its app store (Google Play)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) (The Hague)
Google to require providers to add information about data use to apps in its app store* In its app store Google Play, Google will require app providers to indicate what personal data each app uses. Google will introduce this requirement this summer. Apple already implemented this requirement (...)

The Indian Government enacts the comprehensive Information Technology Rules providing governance structures for social media and related companies
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (Ahmedabad)
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Auro University (Surat)
Introduction The Indian Government in February, 2021 enacted the comprehensive Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Media Code”) providing governance structures for social media and related companies. It encompasses an embargo of (...)

The EU Commission proposes legislation to overhaul regulation of digital platforms in the Union
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 15 December the European Commission announced far-reaching proposals for regulation of the digital sector in the form of a Digital Services Act (DSA) and a Digital Markets Act (DMA). In summary the DSA contains new rules including on illegal content and transparency. It applies to all (...)

The EU Commission unveils sweeping proposals to regulate the digital sector
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
In Short The Development: The European Commission ("EC") recently released two long-awaited legislative proposals, the Digital Services Act ("DSA") and Digital Markets Act ("DMA"), that would significantly increase the EC’s regulatory oversight of online platform companies (previewed in our (...)

The EU Commission announces a package of digital markets legislation intended to better regulate major online platforms and to protect consumers and businesses
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
On 15th December, the European Commission announced a package of digital markets legislation intended to give the Commission the power to better regulate major online platforms and to protect European consumers and businessess for effectively: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets (...)

The EU Commission publishes proposed rules for the regulation of digital services by imposing a series of ex-ante behavioral obligations on entities that are considered ‘gatekeepers’
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The European Commission has today published the long awaited Digital Markets Act proposal. The Proposed Regulation imposes a series of ex ante behavioural obligations on entities that the Commission designates as ‘gatekeepers’. The obligations for those designated platforms and the potential (...)

The EU Commission proposes regulation on a single market for digital services
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
On 15 December 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) presented a legislative package consisting of a proposed Regulation on a Single Market for Digital Services (“Digital Services Act” or “DSA”), which creates new rules applicable to providers of online intermediary services, as well as a (...)

The EU Commission publishes the Digital Services Act intended to modernize the legal framework for digital services in the Union
Morgan Lewis (New York)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The European Commission (Commission) published the first draft of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on December 15 2020. Morgan Lewis previously reported on the anticipated DSA. The DSA and DMA are intended to modernize the legal framework for digital services in (...)

The EU Commission publishes new obligations and sanctions for digital gatekeepers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Brussels)
The debate about competition issues and unfair practices specific to online platforms and the appropriate tools to tackle them was taken a step further by the European Commission (‘Commission’), which presented two legislative proposals on 15 December 2020: The Digital Services Act (‘DSA’) and (...)

The EU Commission issues the proposed Digital Markets Act aimed to complement antitrust intervention in digital markets with ex-ante regulation in the form of a set of obligations that platforms identified as “gatekeepers” should abide by
Keystone Strategy (London)
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Yale University - School of Management (New Haven)
The European Commission Digital Markets Act: A translation* The European Commission has finally issued the proposed Digital Markets Act, its bid to complement antitrust intervention in digital markets with ex-ante regulation in the form of a set of obligations that platforms identified as (...)

The EU Commission publishes a draft regulation aiming the imposition of ex-ante obligations on providers of certain pre-defined core platform services that qualify as gatekeepers
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki (BASEAK) (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
1. Introduction The draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Contestable and Fair Markets in the Digital Sector (Digital Markets Act) (“DMA Proposal”) was announced by the European Commission (“Commission”) on December 15, 2020. The DMA Proposal envisages the imposition of (...)

The EU Commission publishes proposals imposing obligations on providers of digital services, and augmenting enforcement powers of regulators
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
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Covington & Burling (Brussels)
Yesterday, the European Commission published its proposals for the Digital Markets Act (“DMA Proposal”) and Digital Services Act (“DSA Proposal”), proposing new regulation of “intermediary services” and “designated gatekeepers”. The proposals would impose new obligations on providers of digital (...)

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology proposes a framework for regulating non-personal data
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
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Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan (New Delhi)
Even as the Personal Data Protection Bill (“PDP Bill”) continues to be analyzed by a joint parliamentary committee, in consultation with experts and stakeholders, an expert committee constituted by MeitY has recommended a framework for regulating NPD which involves the creation of a new national (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study
Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
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Hausfeld (London)
On 1 July 2020, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority published its long-awaited final report of its online platforms and digital advertising market study (CMA Final Report). In so doing, it has confirmed what many have been saying for some time: serious competition concerns exist in this (...)

The EU Commission publishes a package of initiatives on Europe’s digital future to create legislation on AI and big data
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The New EU AI and Data Strategy and what it Means for EU Antitrust Reform* On February 19, the European Commission (EC) published a package of initiatives (the AI and Data Package) on Europe’s “digital future,” delivering on the promise in President von der Leyen’s political guidelines to put (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes the final report of the big data joint fact-finding survey which was launched in collaboration with the Communications Regulatory Authority and the Data Protection Authority
Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 10 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) published the final report of the Big Data joint fact-finding survey, launched in collaboration with the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority ("AgCom") and the Data Protection Authority on 30 May 2017. As part of the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority and two other Regulatory Authorities publish a joint investigative report on big data
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 10 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority, the Authority for Communications Guarantees and the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (together the “Authorities”) published a joint investigative report on big data (the “Report”). The Report is based on a one-year survey carried (...)

The Italian Competition Authority, the Communications Authority and the Data Protection Authority publish the findings of a joint sector inquiry into the field of big data
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On February 10, 2020 the Italian Authorities for Communications, Competition and Data Protection published the findings of a joint sector inquiry into the field of Big Data (“Investigation”), which lasted almost three years. It was launched on May 30, 2017 to study the functioning and impact of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority publishes its final report on the challenges and opportunities in the digital platforms market
Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)
The ACCC is at the forefront of the global debate on the implications and consequences of digital platforms for competition and consumers. In its final report, the ACCC has approached the challenges and opportunities presented by digital platforms by adopting a holistic approach that takes (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its final report on the digital platforms inquiry
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In mid-2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") released its final report in the landmark Digital Platforms Inquiry ("Final Report"), in which it recommended, amongst other things, amendments to section 50(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), which forms (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues with two other Italian authorities, guidelines and recommendations related to policies for Big Data
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Big data: the guidelines and recommendations of policies shared by the three Authorities* The Italian Competition Authority, the Authority for the Communications Guarantees and the Authority for the protection of personal data have published the guidelines and recommendations of policies for (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes guidelines and policy recommendations for big data aimed to understand the implications that developments in digital economy have for antitrust, regulation and consumer protection
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
BIG DATA: ITALIAN AUTHORITIES PUBLISHED GUIDELINES AND POLICY RECOMMENDATION ON COMPETITION, CONSUMER PROTECTION AND DATA PRIVACY ISSUES* Introduction On July 10, 2019, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”), the Authority for the Communications Guarantees (“AGcom”), and the Authority for the (...)

The French Competition Authority announces that seven regulators have published a joint memo of their common approach to data-driven regulation
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Cooperation between regulators* Seven regulators publish the fruit of their common approach to data-driven regulation Data-driven regulation, an additional tool for regulators In this era of unceasing innovation, regulators rely more and more on the collection, utilisation and publication of (...)

The Japanese Competition Authority issues unfair Competition Prevention Act which grants legal protection to big data
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (Tokyo)
On 1 July 2019 the Unfair Competition Prevention Act was amended to afford new legal protection to Big Data. The act regulates several types of unfair competition, including the new act of wrongfully acquiring, disclosing and using Big Data. Thus, parties should review their management systems, (...)

The UK Digital Competition Expert Panel releases its report setting out its proposed changes for effective regulation of the digital economy
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 13 March 2019, the UK’s Digital Competition Expert Panel, led by advisor to former US President Barack Obama, Professor Jason Furman, released its report setting out its proposed changes for effective regulation of the digital economy (the Report). UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, who (...)

The EU Commission hosts a conference to address the challenges of digitization for competition policy
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
“Shaping Competition Policy in the era of digitization”: The European Commission hosts a conference with academic and business leaders to address the challenges of digitization for competition policy. On 17 January 2019, the European Commission hosted an experts conference to address the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on quality considerations in the zero-price economy
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Over the course of a single day, most consumers will come into contact with at least one product that is offered to them at a price of zero. Business models centred around the zero-price provision of products are not new. However, in the digital economy, new zero-price markets have arisen with (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority closes an investigation into a Big Tech company’s ad personalization and chat data processing subject to commitments (Google / Allo)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Competition Proceeding against Google is closed with Commitment Decision* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) investigated the communications practices of Google LLC (Google) in relation to its ‘Internet and applications’ services ‘personalisation of (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on e-commerce
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. E-commerce – broadly, buying and selling online – is a global phenomenon and an important expanding distribution mechanism across the OECD. During the last decade, e-commerce activities have been growing both in the demand and supply side, as seen by the increasing number of (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a paper on "Big Data and Competition" as Big Data and digital markets remain in the focus of EU competition authorities
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
I. Introduction On 6 October, the German Federal Cartel Office (’FCO’) launched its new series of papers on ’Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy’. The first paper deals with ’Big Data and Competition’. The same day, a ’real-life example’ of competition enforcement in Big Data (...)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy proposes establishing a Digital Agency for the regulation of digital markets
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Munich)
Germany suggests ramping up regulation of digital platforms by establishing Digital Agency with robust antitrust mandate* Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model (...)

The OECD holds roundtable on big data
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * The 126th meeting of the Competition Committee held a Hearing on 29 November 2016 to discuss Big Data and the challenges of adapting competition policy to the digital economy. Considering the background note prepared by the OECD Secretariat with the (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes discussion paper on internet platforms in merger control, contractual restrictions of competition and, abuse of dominance scenarios
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
The FCO publishes discussion paper on internet platform markets* On October 1, 2015, the FCO published a paper entitled “Digital economy – internet platforms between competition law, privacy and consumer protection” on the occasion of a conference of the working group competition law (consisting (...)

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