This week’s antitrust and data privacy updates are as below –
Facebook warned by European Commission over Potential Antitrust Breach
The European Commission has issued a warning to the Facebook parent company, Meta, for abuse of its dominant position, and acting in breach of the EU Antitrust Laws. The Commission stated that Meta’s actions about its online marketplace for classified advertising by connecting its dominant social network portal, Facebook to the Facebook Marketplace. As per the EC, this does not leave any option in the hands of the users other than having access to the Facebook Marketplace. The Commission also claimed that Meta has been curbing competition by imposing unfair trading conditions on rival classified advertising services that advertise on Facebook or Instagram. Meta has responded by calling these claims by the EC without any foundation. As per the Commission, it could continue its investigation and impose fines of up to ten per cent of Meta’s annual global turnover.
Indian Parliament recommends changes to Competition Bill
A Parliamentary panel has suggested major changes to the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which includes the inclusion of cartels under the ambit of settlements as a “pragmatic recourse”. The modifications also provide for the inclusion of deals under the Rs 2000 Crore Threshold within the scope of CCI – effectively covering high-value offshore mergers and acquisitions with an Indian link. The Amendment Bill seeks to reduce the timeline for the CCI to pass an order on the application for approval of combinations from 210 days to 150 days. Additionally, the timeline to form a prima facie opinion has been reduced to 20 days from the original 30 days. However, the CCI and other stakeholders have raised concerns about the same, stating that it would put the authority in a problematic and burdensome position.
Google requests Federal Court to dismiss Texas Antitrust lawsuit
Google has filed a motion requesting a Federal Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by the US Justice Department, which alleged that the former violated antitrust law in order to maintain its monopoly. The company stated that the lawsuit was not “credible”, is “deeply flawed”, and that it relied on “dubious antitrust arguments”.
US welcomes EU draft decision on data privacy
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has confirmed that the United States has welcomed the European Union’s draft decision on data privacy. It has been dubbed as a significant step towards the earlier efforts put in by the two parties in concluding a data transfer pact. According to the Commerce Secretary, it represents a crucial step to fully address the concerns of the Court of Justice of the EU, which had struck down the previous EU-US Privacy Shield Framework by the Schrems II decision.
Authored by Tanmaya Purohit (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Anjana Gopinath (Intern).
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