German regulator imposes tougher rules on Facebook owner Meta

CNA – Germany’s Cartel Office says Meta Platforms Inc, owner of Facebook, is of “primary importance for market competition”, a classification that gives the regulator more leeway to limit the market power of digital companies .

Under legislation introduced by German lawmakers in early 2021, the cartel office can ban what it considers anti-competitive activities.

Meta, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, operates a strong ad-supported social media ecosystem that continues to grow and is used by much of the population in Germany, the cartel office said in a statement yesterday.

He said the new classification would form the basis for a faster conclusion of the pending antitrust proceedings against Meta.

In 2019, the cartel office ordered the company to limit its data collection, saying the world’s largest social network abused its market dominance to harvest user information without their consent. Meta, then called Facebook, appealed the decision and the case is still pending in court.

The cartel office also filed an abuse case against Meta in 2020 over links between its Oculus virtual reality products and the social media network.

A spokesperson for Meta said yesterday that the US-based company will comply with the Cartel Bureau’s ruling on the classification.

“While we do not share the reasoning that led to the decision of the Federal Cartel Office, we will continue to focus on providing our users in Germany with the best possible experience in compliance with all laws and regulations. “said a spokesperson for Meta. media.

A woman is holding a smartphone with the Meta logo. PHOTO: ANC

James R. Rhodes