The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Facebook sued in U.S. federal court for alleged anticompetitive conduct. Four companies sued Facebook Inc. in U.S. federal court on Thursday for alleged anticompetitive conduct, saying the social network inappropriately revoked developer access to its platform in order to harm prospective competitors. The plaintiffs sought class-action status and unspecified damages, according to a filing at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
EU mulls five-year ban on facial recognition tech in public areas. The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology in public areas for up to five years, to give it time to work out how to prevent abuses, according to proposals seen by Reuters. The plan by the EU’s executive – set out in an 18-page white paper – comes amid a global debate about the systems driven by artificial intelligence and widely used by law enforcement agencies. The EU Commission said new tough rules may have to be introduced to bolster existing regulations protecting Europeans’ privacy and data rights.
Lessons to be learned from Facebook’s WhatsApp deal, French watchdog says. Facebook’s $22 billion buyout of WhatsApp six years ago should have been blocked, the boss of France’s antitrust watchdog, which is set to help review EU rules, has told Reuters. “Clearly, deals such as the Facebook/WhatsApp merger should probably not have been allowed,” Isabelle de Silva said in an interview. “One of the things we see more clearly now than we did a few years ago is how the ability to collect and exploit data is a major advantage,” she said.