German Competition Agency Says Facebook Abused Dominant Position

Facebook said the move was in response to pressure from governments and policy makers for greater visibility into sales made in their countries

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s competition watchdog has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, challenging the U.S. social network’s model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users worldwide through targeted advertising.

Presenting preliminary findings of its 20-month-old probe, the Federal Cartel Office said Facebook held a dominant position among social networks – a characterization the company dismissed as “inaccurate”.

The case is being closely watched in Germany, where concerns over data privacy are strong due to a history of state surveillance under Nazi and Communist rule. Facebook has been running an ad campaign to try to allay those fears.

Separately, Berlin will introduce a law in the new year imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($59 million) on social media platforms that fail quickly to remove posts that propagate hate speech – a crime in Germany.

Read the rest of the story at Reuters.


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