SHARE
COPY LINK

TECH

Germany steps up monitoring of Facebook’s Meta

Germany's anti-cartel watchdog said Wednesday it has placed Meta, the company which owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, under close watch for any possible abuse.

The Meta logo on a smartphone and a computer monitor.
The Meta logo on a smartphone and a computer monitor. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire | Pavlo Gonchar

The Federal Cartel Office said it has determined Meta to be a company of “paramount significance for competition”, a move paving the way for the authorities to clamp down “against potential competition infringements”.

Meta therefore joins Google in falling under reinforced monitoring made possible by the German Competition Act, which came into force in January 2021.

The act allows the authority to intervene earlier, particularly against huge digital companies.

“The digital ecosystem created by Meta has a very large user base and makes the company the key player in social media,” said Federal Cartel Office chief Andreas Mundt.

Having determined Meta’s significance, the office is “able to intervene against potential competition infringements more efficiently than with the toolkit available to us so far”.

Meta has also waived its right to appeal the German office’s decision, he said.

Big tech companies have been facing increasing scrutiny around the globe over their dominant positions as well as their tax practices.

The EU and Britain in March opened antitrust probes into a 2018 deal between Google and Meta allegedly aimed at cementing their dominance over the online advertising market.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TECH

Germany opens anti-cartel probe into Google Maps

Germany's anti-cartel watchdog said Tuesday it has opened a probe into Google Maps over restrictions that may be giving it an unfair advantage over competitors.

Germany opens anti-cartel probe into Google Maps

“The proceeding is to examine possible anti-competitive restrictions imposed by Google Maps Platform to the detriment of alternative map services providers,” the Federal Cartel Office said in a statement.

Andreas Mundt, president of the watchdog, said it had reason to believe that Google “may be restricting the combination of its own map services with third-party map services, for example when it comes to embedding Google Maps location data, the search function or Google Street View into maps not provided by Google”.

The move comes after the Federal Cartel Office in January classified Google┬┤as a company of “paramount significance across markets”, paving the way for the authorities to clamp down on any potentially anti-competitive activities.

Parallel proceedings are already ongoing to examine Google’s terms and conditions for data processing and its news offer Google News Showcase.

An amendment of the German Competition Act came into force last year, allowing the authority to intervene earlier, particularly against huge digital companies.

The watchdog has also classified Meta, the company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, as a company of “paramount significance across markets”.

Big tech companies have been facing increasing scrutiny around the globe over their dominant positions as well as their tax practices.

The EU and Britain in March opened antitrust probes into a 2018 deal between Google and Meta allegedly aimed at cementing their dominance over the online advertising market.

SHOW COMMENTS