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Adam Amie 2017-12-19
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(Reuters) — Germany’s cartel office has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, in a ruling that questioned the U.S. social network’s model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users 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 that Facebook repudiated as “inaccurate”.

The authority objected to Facebook’s requirement that it gain access to third-party data when an account is opened – including from its own WhatsApp and Instagram products – as well as its tracking of which sites its users access.

“Above all we see the collection of data outside the Facebook social network and its inclusion in the Facebook account as problematic,” cartel office President Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

This even happens when a Facebook user clicks on a page with a Facebook ‘Like’ button – even if they don’t click on the button, he added.

Responding, Facebook said the report “painted an inaccurate picture of Facebook” but said it would cooperate with the German investigation.

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0
Ricky Nesbitt 2021-05-25
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Germany’s Federal Cartel Office said Tuesday it’s started two investigations under antitrust measures that allow it to target large digital companies that may dominate several markets.The authority will conduct an in-depth analysis of Google’s data processing terms
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0
Shane Higgins 2021-05-18
img
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is seeking to make swift use of a new competition tool to target big tech — announcing today that it’s opened a proceeding against ecommerce giant Amazon. If the FCO confirms that Amazon is of “paramount significance for competition across markets” — as defined by an amendment to the German […]
collect
0
Bradley Liss 2021-06-04
img
The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s very active competition authority, isn’t letting the grass grow under new powers it gained this year to tackle big tech: The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has just announced a third proceeding against Google. The FCO’s latest competition probe looks very interesting as it’s targeting Google News Showcase — Google’s relatively recently launched […]
collect
0
Alan Krieg 2018-08-28
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The head of Germany’s Cartel Office says Europe is set to ratchet up regulatory pressure on ‘abusive’ tech giants

Facebook and other big technology companies are set to face sustained pressure from regulatory authorities in Europe, according to Germany’s antitrust chief, who said the country’s Federal Cartel Office hopes to take “the next steps” in its Facebook probe this year.

The office’s president, Andreas Mundt, has been outspoken in his criticism of firms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.

His Facebook investigation is attracting increased attention internationally following repeated data scandals involving Facebook’s data collection and the use of that data for political purposes.

As Mundt presented a review of the agency’s activities over the past year on Monday in Bonn, he underscored its scrutiny of Facebook’s data-collection activities as well as citing its investigations of online advertising, digital television platforms and comparison websites.

He also confirmed comments in a newspaper interview earlier this month that indicated he may launch a so-called sector probe into e-commerce, which would focus on “hybrid” platforms such as Amazon that sell their own products as well as hosting third-party vendors.

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0
James Taylor 2021-06-21
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Apple

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of engaging in anti-competitive behavior in relation to the products, services, ...

The post Apple is facing Antitrust Probe into pre-installed applications appeared first on Gizchina.com.

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0
Felton Woodall 2019-02-07
img

German regulator Bundeskartellamt has made a fresh attempt to curb the powers of the internet giants, this time targeting the data processing capabilities of Facebook.

The previous practice of combining all data in a Facebook user account, practically without any restriction, will now be subject to the voluntary consent given by the users.

If users do not consent, Facebook may not exclude them from its services and must refrain from collecting and merging data from different sources.”

Facebook has already stated it will appeal the decision with the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, though this should come as little surprise considering the attack on the foundations of the social media giants business model.

This ruling could have a notable impact.

Not only does Facebook collect information about you from its core platform, but by supplementing this picture with more detail from third-party sources, a hyper-targeted advertising platform can be created.

collect
0
Eric Whitefield 2020-08-17
img
The investigations are focused on Amazon's pricing system and the status of third-party sellers on the platform.
collect
0
Angela Skipper 2017-01-20
img

Apple and Amazon have ended a deal that tied them into an exclusive contract for the supply and sale of audio books.

The deal was signed before 2008 when Amazon bought audio book supplier Audible, which had the Apple iBooks contract.

Pressure from anti-trust regulators in Germany and the European Commission led to the deal being abandoned.

Competition in the audio book market should get a boost now the deal has ended, said regulators.

The terms of the agreement meant Audible could not offer audio books to any other company and Apple had to take audio books only from Audible.

The investigation into the Apple-Amazon arrangement over audio books was started by the German Federal Cartel Office in late 2015.

collect
0
Stephen Martinez 2017-08-10
img

Kaspersky Labs is dropping its antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Russia and Europe.

The Russian antivirus biz had claimed the US software giant was unfairly promoting the use of Windows Defender over third-party security products.

In November last year, Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service probed a complaint by Kaspersky against Microsoft that had been filed in late 2015.

The biz submitted two other formal gripes, to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel office, in June 2017.

All those complaints have now been dropped.

And, by sheer coincidence, according to Microsoft on Wednesday, the Windows goliath has agreed to let its antivirus partners, such as Kaspersky, keep their software on equal footing with Windows Defender.

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0
John Bloodsaw 2016-08-08
img

TOKYO Reuters – Japan s Fair Trade Commission has raided the offices of Amazon.com Inc s local unit on suspicion of pressuring retailers to offer products at lower prices than on rival sites, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.The paper, which cited unidentified sources with knowledge of the case, did not say when the raid took place.A Japan Fair Trade Commission spokesman said he could not confirm the report but added: I won t say the contents are incorrect.

An Amazon Japan spokeswoman declined to comment.Amazon Japan s website booked net sales of $8.3 billion last year, equivalent to 7.7 percent of Amazon.com s worldwide net sales.

By comparison, main rival Rakuten Inc recorded e-commerce revenue in Japan of 263.9 billion yen $2.9 billion in the same period.Amazon s practices toward retailers and e-commerce partners have also come under scrutiny in Europe.Germany s Federal Cartel Office began an investigation in November into Apple Inc and Amazon after complaints that publishers were being forced to accept unreasonable conditions for the marketing of audiobooks.And the European Union last year opened an antitrust investigation into Amazon s e-book business, examining whether clauses in contracts prevented publishers from offering more favorable deals to Amazon s competitors.Apple and Audible, Amazon s audiobook business, declined at the time to comment on the German investigation.On the E.U.

probe, Amazon said it was confident its agreements with publishers were legal and in the best interests of readers.Britain s Office of Fair Trading and Germany s Federal Cartel Office probed Amazon s conditions for third-party sellers trading on its Marketplace platform between 2012 and 2013.Both bodies closed their investigations after the company altered policies that banned traders from selling products offered on Amazon more cheaply elsewhere.

Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Stephen Coates and Edwina Gibbs

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0
Steven Cusick 2019-01-15
img

As it does from time-to-time, German regulator Bundeskartellamt has published a list of mergers and acquisitions which is evaluating.

IBM and T-Systems are lucky enough to make the list.

Reports of the discussions emerged over the weekend, with IBM rumoured to be considering taking the mainframe service business unit off the hands of the struggling T-Systems.

On the Bundeskartellamt website, there is a page which lists some of the main transactions which the regulator is considering in its role as merger overseer.

These are mainly deals which are in the ‘first phase’ and usually passed unless there are any competition concerns.

Although the description is not detailed, it lists IBM will be acquiring certain assets from T-Systems.

collect
0
Brad Patterson 2019-02-07
img

Facebook’s massively lucrative advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles.

Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests.

On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, ruled that Facebook was exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to this kind of data collection in order to have an account, and has prohibited the practice going forward.

The company has one month to appeal.

“When there is a lack of competition, users accepting terms of service are often not truly consenting.

“As a dominant company Facebook is subject to special obligations under competition law.

collect
0
James Farr 2018-12-01
img

Regulators in Europe have zeroed in on a specific part of Amazon's business that they say could be anti-competitive.

In the United States, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has had a similar take on Amazon's role.

European regulators have set Amazon in their sights.

Germany's competition watchdog — the Federal Cartel Office, or the Bundeskartellamt — announced on Thursday that it had opened an investigation into Amazon.

In a statement to Business Insider on Thursday, Amazon said that it would not comment on ongoing investigations, but pledged to "cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt and continue working hard to support small and medium-sized businesses and help them grow."

Germany's watchdog isn't the first to take notice of this aspect of Amazon's business and its potential anti-trust implications.

collect
0
William Cutright 2018-11-29
img

(Reuters) — Germany’s antitrust authority has launched an investigation into whether U.S. ecommerce giant Amazon is exploiting its market dominance in its relations with third-party retailers who use its website as a marketplace.

The Federal Cartel Office said in a statement on Thursday that it had received many complaints from traders about the business practices of Amazon of late.

“Amazon acts as a kind of ‘gatekeeper’ to customers.

The double role as biggest trader and biggest marketplace means there is a potential to impede other traders on the platform,” said cartel office President Andreas Mundt.

Mundt said the investigation would seek to examine business conditions that Amazon imposes on the traders which use its site, including a lack of transparency over terminations, delayed payments and shipping conditions.

Amazon’s German division was not immediately available for comment.

collect
0
Michael Vaughn 2019-02-08
img

Facebook has said it plans to appeal a decision by Germany’s antitrust regulator that would require the social media company to make sharp changes to the way it collects user data across multiple services and websites.

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) said Facebook had abused its dominant position in the country to carry out “intensive” data processing.

In particular, it said users were largely unaware of the amount of data Facebook collected on them from third-party sources, such as buttons or invisible pixels embedded on third-party websites, third-party website logins that accept Facebook credentials, or Facebook’s own applications, such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The decision requires Facebook to obtain users’ “voluntary consent” if it wishes to gather such third-party data and integrate it into a user’s main Facebook profile.

Without such consent, Facebook would be free to collect data but would not be allowed to pool it with other information on a particular individual.

And the FCO specified that an “obligatory tick on the box” by which a user would agree to all the company’s terms was not sufficient basis for “such intensive data processing”.

collect
0
Adam Amie 2017-12-19
img

(Reuters) — Germany’s cartel office has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, in a ruling that questioned the U.S. social network’s model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users 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 that Facebook repudiated as “inaccurate”.

The authority objected to Facebook’s requirement that it gain access to third-party data when an account is opened – including from its own WhatsApp and Instagram products – as well as its tracking of which sites its users access.

“Above all we see the collection of data outside the Facebook social network and its inclusion in the Facebook account as problematic,” cartel office President Andreas Mundt said in a statement.

This even happens when a Facebook user clicks on a page with a Facebook ‘Like’ button – even if they don’t click on the button, he added.

Responding, Facebook said the report “painted an inaccurate picture of Facebook” but said it would cooperate with the German investigation.

Shane Higgins 2021-05-18
img
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (FCO) is seeking to make swift use of a new competition tool to target big tech — announcing today that it’s opened a proceeding against ecommerce giant Amazon. If the FCO confirms that Amazon is of “paramount significance for competition across markets” — as defined by an amendment to the German […]
Alan Krieg 2018-08-28
img

The head of Germany’s Cartel Office says Europe is set to ratchet up regulatory pressure on ‘abusive’ tech giants

Facebook and other big technology companies are set to face sustained pressure from regulatory authorities in Europe, according to Germany’s antitrust chief, who said the country’s Federal Cartel Office hopes to take “the next steps” in its Facebook probe this year.

The office’s president, Andreas Mundt, has been outspoken in his criticism of firms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.

His Facebook investigation is attracting increased attention internationally following repeated data scandals involving Facebook’s data collection and the use of that data for political purposes.

As Mundt presented a review of the agency’s activities over the past year on Monday in Bonn, he underscored its scrutiny of Facebook’s data-collection activities as well as citing its investigations of online advertising, digital television platforms and comparison websites.

He also confirmed comments in a newspaper interview earlier this month that indicated he may launch a so-called sector probe into e-commerce, which would focus on “hybrid” platforms such as Amazon that sell their own products as well as hosting third-party vendors.

Felton Woodall 2019-02-07
img

German regulator Bundeskartellamt has made a fresh attempt to curb the powers of the internet giants, this time targeting the data processing capabilities of Facebook.

The previous practice of combining all data in a Facebook user account, practically without any restriction, will now be subject to the voluntary consent given by the users.

If users do not consent, Facebook may not exclude them from its services and must refrain from collecting and merging data from different sources.”

Facebook has already stated it will appeal the decision with the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, though this should come as little surprise considering the attack on the foundations of the social media giants business model.

This ruling could have a notable impact.

Not only does Facebook collect information about you from its core platform, but by supplementing this picture with more detail from third-party sources, a hyper-targeted advertising platform can be created.

Angela Skipper 2017-01-20
img

Apple and Amazon have ended a deal that tied them into an exclusive contract for the supply and sale of audio books.

The deal was signed before 2008 when Amazon bought audio book supplier Audible, which had the Apple iBooks contract.

Pressure from anti-trust regulators in Germany and the European Commission led to the deal being abandoned.

Competition in the audio book market should get a boost now the deal has ended, said regulators.

The terms of the agreement meant Audible could not offer audio books to any other company and Apple had to take audio books only from Audible.

The investigation into the Apple-Amazon arrangement over audio books was started by the German Federal Cartel Office in late 2015.

John Bloodsaw 2016-08-08
img

TOKYO Reuters – Japan s Fair Trade Commission has raided the offices of Amazon.com Inc s local unit on suspicion of pressuring retailers to offer products at lower prices than on rival sites, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.The paper, which cited unidentified sources with knowledge of the case, did not say when the raid took place.A Japan Fair Trade Commission spokesman said he could not confirm the report but added: I won t say the contents are incorrect.

An Amazon Japan spokeswoman declined to comment.Amazon Japan s website booked net sales of $8.3 billion last year, equivalent to 7.7 percent of Amazon.com s worldwide net sales.

By comparison, main rival Rakuten Inc recorded e-commerce revenue in Japan of 263.9 billion yen $2.9 billion in the same period.Amazon s practices toward retailers and e-commerce partners have also come under scrutiny in Europe.Germany s Federal Cartel Office began an investigation in November into Apple Inc and Amazon after complaints that publishers were being forced to accept unreasonable conditions for the marketing of audiobooks.And the European Union last year opened an antitrust investigation into Amazon s e-book business, examining whether clauses in contracts prevented publishers from offering more favorable deals to Amazon s competitors.Apple and Audible, Amazon s audiobook business, declined at the time to comment on the German investigation.On the E.U.

probe, Amazon said it was confident its agreements with publishers were legal and in the best interests of readers.Britain s Office of Fair Trading and Germany s Federal Cartel Office probed Amazon s conditions for third-party sellers trading on its Marketplace platform between 2012 and 2013.Both bodies closed their investigations after the company altered policies that banned traders from selling products offered on Amazon more cheaply elsewhere.

Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Stephen Coates and Edwina Gibbs

Brad Patterson 2019-02-07
img

Facebook’s massively lucrative advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles.

Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests.

On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, ruled that Facebook was exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to this kind of data collection in order to have an account, and has prohibited the practice going forward.

The company has one month to appeal.

“When there is a lack of competition, users accepting terms of service are often not truly consenting.

“As a dominant company Facebook is subject to special obligations under competition law.

William Cutright 2018-11-29
img

(Reuters) — Germany’s antitrust authority has launched an investigation into whether U.S. ecommerce giant Amazon is exploiting its market dominance in its relations with third-party retailers who use its website as a marketplace.

The Federal Cartel Office said in a statement on Thursday that it had received many complaints from traders about the business practices of Amazon of late.

“Amazon acts as a kind of ‘gatekeeper’ to customers.

The double role as biggest trader and biggest marketplace means there is a potential to impede other traders on the platform,” said cartel office President Andreas Mundt.

Mundt said the investigation would seek to examine business conditions that Amazon imposes on the traders which use its site, including a lack of transparency over terminations, delayed payments and shipping conditions.

Amazon’s German division was not immediately available for comment.

Ricky Nesbitt 2021-05-25
img
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office said Tuesday it’s started two investigations under antitrust measures that allow it to target large digital companies that may dominate several markets.The authority will conduct an in-depth analysis of Google’s data processing terms
Bradley Liss 2021-06-04
img
The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s very active competition authority, isn’t letting the grass grow under new powers it gained this year to tackle big tech: The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has just announced a third proceeding against Google. The FCO’s latest competition probe looks very interesting as it’s targeting Google News Showcase — Google’s relatively recently launched […]
James Taylor 2021-06-21
img
Apple

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of engaging in anti-competitive behavior in relation to the products, services, ...

The post Apple is facing Antitrust Probe into pre-installed applications appeared first on Gizchina.com.

Eric Whitefield 2020-08-17
img
The investigations are focused on Amazon's pricing system and the status of third-party sellers on the platform.
Stephen Martinez 2017-08-10
img

Kaspersky Labs is dropping its antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Russia and Europe.

The Russian antivirus biz had claimed the US software giant was unfairly promoting the use of Windows Defender over third-party security products.

In November last year, Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service probed a complaint by Kaspersky against Microsoft that had been filed in late 2015.

The biz submitted two other formal gripes, to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel office, in June 2017.

All those complaints have now been dropped.

And, by sheer coincidence, according to Microsoft on Wednesday, the Windows goliath has agreed to let its antivirus partners, such as Kaspersky, keep their software on equal footing with Windows Defender.

Steven Cusick 2019-01-15
img

As it does from time-to-time, German regulator Bundeskartellamt has published a list of mergers and acquisitions which is evaluating.

IBM and T-Systems are lucky enough to make the list.

Reports of the discussions emerged over the weekend, with IBM rumoured to be considering taking the mainframe service business unit off the hands of the struggling T-Systems.

On the Bundeskartellamt website, there is a page which lists some of the main transactions which the regulator is considering in its role as merger overseer.

These are mainly deals which are in the ‘first phase’ and usually passed unless there are any competition concerns.

Although the description is not detailed, it lists IBM will be acquiring certain assets from T-Systems.

James Farr 2018-12-01
img

Regulators in Europe have zeroed in on a specific part of Amazon's business that they say could be anti-competitive.

In the United States, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has had a similar take on Amazon's role.

European regulators have set Amazon in their sights.

Germany's competition watchdog — the Federal Cartel Office, or the Bundeskartellamt — announced on Thursday that it had opened an investigation into Amazon.

In a statement to Business Insider on Thursday, Amazon said that it would not comment on ongoing investigations, but pledged to "cooperate fully with the Bundeskartellamt and continue working hard to support small and medium-sized businesses and help them grow."

Germany's watchdog isn't the first to take notice of this aspect of Amazon's business and its potential anti-trust implications.

Michael Vaughn 2019-02-08
img

Facebook has said it plans to appeal a decision by Germany’s antitrust regulator that would require the social media company to make sharp changes to the way it collects user data across multiple services and websites.

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) said Facebook had abused its dominant position in the country to carry out “intensive” data processing.

In particular, it said users were largely unaware of the amount of data Facebook collected on them from third-party sources, such as buttons or invisible pixels embedded on third-party websites, third-party website logins that accept Facebook credentials, or Facebook’s own applications, such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The decision requires Facebook to obtain users’ “voluntary consent” if it wishes to gather such third-party data and integrate it into a user’s main Facebook profile.

Without such consent, Facebook would be free to collect data but would not be allowed to pool it with other information on a particular individual.

And the FCO specified that an “obligatory tick on the box” by which a user would agree to all the company’s terms was not sufficient basis for “such intensive data processing”.