Facebook succeeds in blocking German FCO’s privacy-minded order against combining user data

Facebook has succeeded in blocking a pioneering order by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year that would have banned it from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — without their consent. Pioneering because the antitrust regulator had liaised with EU privacy authorities during a […]

Facebook to admit ownership of Instagram, WhatsApp in hard-to-read small-print

For the first time in more than half a decade, Facebook wants to inform you that it owns Instagram, the hyper-popular rival social networking app it acquired for a $1BN steal back in 2012. Ditto messaging platform WhatsApp — which Mark Zuckerberg splurged $19BN on a couple of years later to keep feeding eyeballs into […]

Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Facebook are in the crosshairs of the FTC and DOJ

The last time that technology companies faced this kind of scrutiny was Google’s antitrust investigation, or the now twenty-one year old lawsuit brought by the Justice Department and multiple states against Microsoft. But times have changed since Google had its hearing before a much friendlier audience of regulators under President Barack Obama . These days, […]

Competition policy must change to help startups fight ‘winner takes all’ platforms, says UK report

A independent report commissioned by the UK government to examine how competition policy needs to adapt itself for the digital age has concluded that tech giants don’t face adequate competition and the law needs updating to address what it dubs the “novel” challenges of ‘winner takes all’ platforms. The panel also recommends more policy interventions […]

Online platforms need a super regulator and public interest tests for mergers, says UK parliament report

The latest policy recommendations for regulating powerful Internet platforms comes from a U.K. House of Lord committee that’s calling for an overarching digital regulator to be set up to plug gaps in domestic legislation and work through any overlaps of rules. “The digital world does not merely require more regulation but a different approach to […]

Don’t break up big tech — regulate data access, says EU antitrust chief

Breaking up tech giants should be a measure of last resort, the European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has suggested. “To break up a company, to break up private property would be very far reaching and you would need to have a very strong case that it would produce better results for consumers in the […]

UK parliament calls for antitrust, data abuse probe of Facebook

A final report by a British parliamentary committee which spent months last year investigating online political disinformation makes very uncomfortable reading for Facebook — with the company singled out for “disingenuous” and “bad faith” responses to democratic concerns about the misuse of people’s data. In the report, published today, the committee has also called for […]

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, […]

German antitrust office limits Facebook’s data gathering

A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent. The investigation of Facebook data-gathering practices began in March 2016. The decision by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, announced […]

Facebook has poached the DoJ’s Silicon Valley antitrust chief

Facebook has recruited Kate Patchen, a veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice who led its antitrust office in Silicon Valley, to be a director and associate general counsel of litigation. Patchen takes up her post amid ongoing scandals and reputation crises for her new employer, joining Facebook this month, according to her LinkedIn profile. The […]