DP is central to Germany’s Facebook competition case

Stewart Dresner reports from Brussels on the rationale for the German competition authority’s decision on Facebook’s abuse of its dominant position.

Personal data plays a key role in data-driven services such as social networks, online search, or so called “digital assistants” which are part of our everyday lives. Global players acquire these data while offering their services at first glance for free. With regard to these strongly data-driven business models, there can be a close link between data protection law and competition law, says Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

Mundt explained that the business models of companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, as well as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, are powered by consumers giving away their personal data. Much of their success is about the collection of personal data. The processing of this personal data can drive innovation and services, which people like and use, and Artificial Intelligence, which provides benefits to consumers in the form of new popular services.

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