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In scrutinising Google’s and Facebook’s use of people’s data, European authorities need to enter new legal ground

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In scrutinising Google’s and Facebook’s use of people’s data, European authorities need to enter new legal ground

In an article looking at various national and EU-level cases where competition authorities in Europe are looking into tech companies’ use of online data, Politico concluded that the regulators are likely to face an uphill battle in arguing that the companies’ dominance harms consumer choice.

One crucial question for the regulators is, to what extent the vast collection of the user data by Google and Facebook has helped the companies become dominant players in the online advertising space.

However, Google and Facebook argue that their users are free to use any competitive service, and have control over what data is shared with advertisers. Furthermore, regulators may find it difficult to argue that the companies are trying to prevent their competitors from collecting similar data. Crucially, some question how well monopoly rules dating largely from a pre-digital era are adapted for these cases, as they force regulators to “make totally new arguments”, as one commentator said to Politico. 

The angle European authorities take on the issue should be of interest also to news publishers, who are increasingly joining forces through data exchange initiatives in order to bolster their offerings to advertisers.

We have published a report on Google’s antitrust woes around the world – please find the report here.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-08-28 12:38

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

WAN-IFRA Media Policy team and experts.


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