Facebook’s relaunched parent, Meta, has become the next technology company to be certified as part of Germany’s exclusive competition control system, following the renewal of its 2021 digital competition law with a focus on major digital companies. which are considered to be “the main focus of market competition”, as required by law.
The appointment, which stands for five years, empowers the manager, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), to take immediate action to respond to competitive concerns related to Meta operations by imposing operational requirements designed to correct violations confidence interference.
The FCO said Meta had not attempted to appeal the appointment – which Meta confirmed. But the big social media company has told us that it does not agree with some results, such as the prevalence of the private social network market – pointing out what they claim to be a strong competition for customer attention on other social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Snap and Twitter.
In a statement, Meta said:
“While we disagree with the reason for the FCO’s decision, our focus will remain on delivering the best possible experience to our users in Germany in accordance with all laws and regulations. We look forward to continuing to work effectively with the FCO.”
In late January the FCO appointed Google as the first technology company to meet the requirements of the previous competition system to apply. Shortly afterwards, the major technology company offered a concession on how to operate its news license product, Google Showcase, in-country as the FCO’s investigation into the small print edition of the Show (continued until June 2021) continued.
The FCO also has a number of existing cases involving Meta businesses – including a preliminary decision back in 2019 that sought to ban Facebook from incorporating user data across social media sectors through without the consent of the people. Facebook has challenged the court order, arguing that the competition manager has no jurisdiction over confidential matters. While the FCO is arguing for Facebook’s permission to combine user data to build advertising profiles targeting an “exploitative” amount – the practice of large corporations should not involve German law.
In March last year a German court referred several legal questions related to this case to a ‘message’ to the EU’s highest court – which has yet to issue a verdict. It is therefore likely that progress made on this particular precautionary measure will be awaited by the CJEU recommendations regardless of Meta now under the updated German competition system, in terms of pre-intervention. date the law was changed.
Since 2020, the FCO has also investigated the use of Meta Recording on its VR device, Oculus, to have a Facebook account as another breach of competition.
The FCO suggests that designing Meta as a company with “significant market competitiveness” means that it will be able to complete these processes more quickly than in the future – which suggests, with The big technology wants to implement already very expensive ‘pivot to metaverse’, the German manager will watch every unfair move as Meta tries to get out of this metamorphosis (most likely to watch Meta’s’ metaverse instead of following it closely. than the average customer…).
Commenting on a statement [which we’ve translated from German with machine translation]FCO President Andreas Mundt, said: “Thanks to the digital ecosystem created by Meta with a large number of users, the company is a key player in social media. According to our research, Meta as well The other is a company that is more important in the transfer market than in the anti-trust law.We have now officially taken a stand after some controversial times.Our availability makes us a place to take any action against violations of the law “The competition has been far more effective than we have been able to do with the tools available so far. Meta has dropped an appeal against our decision.”
Strict rules of great technique
Germany is ahead of the curve in updating digital competition rules in response to the Big Tech market power, which has become a major source of concern for policymakers around the world.
The European Union (EU) is in the process of revamping EU regulations to produce the old Digital Markets Act (DMA) – and EU lawmakers have reached a political agreement on the law. in March.
Some of the procedural steps left to enforce the DMA law are not expected to start applying until the end of this year.
In recent years, the UK has also said it will legislate to reform its “pro-competitive” rules of competition targeting areas with so-called “strategic market conditions”. However earlier this week Financial Times said the government was cold on the plan – and would not now legislate to enable the Digital Markets Unit established last year inside the current parliament.
When asked about the reported delay yesterday, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports told TechCrunch “it cannot comment on future legal times”. But a spokesman responded: “Our competitive system will change the behavior of the most powerful technology companies and protect businesses and customers who depend on the entire economy,” adding: “We will go for it. la tashi a little. “
Elsewhere, Australia passed a law last year requiring Google and Facebook to take part in negotiations to reward local news outlets for the information they hold to account for media sharing on their devices.
While an earlier update (2019) to the EU’s copyright law also enabled the French anti-trust manager to track down Google at the expense of news publishers to reuse parts of their content. While Google appealed the $ 592M breach of trust that the French manager hit last year, calling it “unbalanced”, the technology company has also issued a series of behavioral promises about news payments to try. to resolve a costly issue.