Excessive Data Collection as a Form of Anticompetitive Conduct – The German Facebook Case

Final version published in (2021) 66(2) Antitrust Bulletin 276–307

Jean Monnet Working Paper 1/20

54 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020 Last revised: 24 May 2021

See all articles by Anne Witt

Anne Witt

EDHEC Business School - Department of Legal Sciences

Date Written: August 11, 2020

Abstract

In a high-profile decision of 6 February 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office prohibited Facebook’s data collection policy as an abuse of dominance for infringing its users’ constitutional right to privacy. The case triggered a remarkable inter-institutional dispute between the key players in German competition law. Conflicting rulings by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court and the German Federal Court of Justice further illustrate how deeply divided the antitrust community is on the role of competition law in regulating excessive data collection and other novel types of harm caused by dominant digital platforms. This contribution discusses the original prohibition decision, the ensuing courts orders and legislative reform proposals in the broader context of EU and US competition law.

Keywords: competition law, antitrust, digital platforms, abuse of dominance, consumer welfare, constitutional rights, privacy, GDPR

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Witt, Anne C., Excessive Data Collection as a Form of Anticompetitive Conduct – The German Facebook Case (August 11, 2020). Final version published in (2021) 66(2) Antitrust Bulletin 276–307, Jean Monnet Working Paper 1/20 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671445 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3671445

Anne C. Witt (Contact Author)

EDHEC Business School - Department of Legal Sciences ( email )

France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
573
Abstract Views
1,320
rank
68,877
PlumX Metrics