In a decision that could further embolden European governments to take on large tech platforms, Germany’s top court ruled on Tuesday that Facebook had abused its dominance in social media to illegally harvest data about its users.
The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice, upholding a decision by Germany’s antitrust watchdog, is a major victory for proponents of tougher regulation of the world’s largest technology companies.
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German legal ruling deals Facebook blow in data use
Facebook’s fight against German regulators was dealt a blow Tuesday after a top court agreed with antitrust authorities that the company was abusing its dominant market position in its use of users’ data to better target ads.
The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, last year determined Facebook was exploiting its dominance in social media to force users to share data from other Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as third-party websites through the “Like” and “Share” buttons.
Top German court reimposes data curbs on Facebook
Facebook must comply with an order by Germany’s antitrust watchdog to curb data collection from users, a top German court ruled on Tuesday, in a setback for the U.S. social network company that could set a wider precedent.
The Federal Court’s stay order, which suspends a decision by a lower court, backs the Federal Cartel Office’s view that Facebook abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their consent.