German High Court confirms antitrust position on Facebook


The German Federal Supreme Court confirmed that Facebook must comply with the German antitrust authority's decision on collecting user data. According to the source, the court's position sets a precedent for other similar rulings.

Earlier, the Federal Antimonopoly Agency concluded that Facebook has used its dominant position in the market to collect information about users without their consent.

Judge Peter Meier-Beck said there is no serious doubt that Facebook is dominant in the German market and that the company violates the terms and conditions set forth by the antitrust regulator.

This decision could have broader implications, as Germany is the first country to consider the dominance of antitrust data collection.

German antitrust community does not agree with the way Facebook combines data about people from third-party applications, including their own WhatsApp and Instagram, and tracks online people who do not have Facebook accounts using the Like or Share buttons.

In a publication issued in February 2019, the agency stated that Facebook would be allowed to assign data from WhatsApp or Instagram to the main accounts in the Facebook application only with the consent of the user. According to the decision, consent is also required to collect data from third-party websites and share them with Facebook data.

The company has submitted an appeal, and the decision was suspended by a regional court in Dusseldorf last July. The current decision of the Federal Supreme Court of Germany cancels the decision of the lower court.