The German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) announced that the ownership of Facebook*Instagram* and the WhatsApp company Meta* platforms has “of paramount importance for competition in the markets”effectively introducing oversight of the company’s activities in Germany.
According to the law, which came into force in 2021, the department was given the opportunity to use a simplified procedure to prohibit companies from certain actions that it considers anti-competitive. As stated in the office, meta* operates a powerful social media ecosystem that continues to expand and is used by a significant portion of the country’s population. By assigning a new status to the company, the department can resolve issues related to it more quickly.
In 2019, the authority commissioned Meta* (then Facebook*) restrict the collection of data, as the company abuses its market dominance and collects information about users without their consent. In 2020, the company faced antitrust proceedings over the relationship between its social media and virtual reality product line Oculus.
Google’s owner Alphabet, who also switched to a new way of working, received a similar status in Germany. This measure could also apply to Amazon.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision, activities on the grounds of Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On Combating Extremist Activity”.