I spoke with Digital Privacy News about the German antitrust case which ruled that Facebook must allow users to opt-out of data sharing across its platforms.
In Europe, combining antitrust and data protection inquiries is increasingly seen as a way of tackling the same platform issues from different angles. Going forward, we are going to see more privacy regulators and antitrust bodies working closely together, as Germany has done here and the UK is doing through the CMA review, and I would not be surprised to see other regulatory bodies dealing with issues like electoral manipulation and online extremism feeding into this work too.
Germany’s Bundeskartellamt has been clear that they are not out to “break up” Facebook per se, but rather to force it to stop using its market dominance to make the world an unhappier place. For legislators and regulators, switching the mood music from the goal of correcting abusive behavioural practices, which a moral argument, to correcting issues of market dominance, which is an economic argument, may be the right strategy needed to achieve both goals more effectively.