European Union: 欧洲反垄断执法机构开始关注大数据持有者

Last Updated: July 18 2016
Article by Jones Day

近几个月来,欧洲反垄断执法机构实施了一系列新举措,以对"大数据"持有者和处理者适用竞争法法规。大数据通常是指大量的不同类型的数据积累,这些数据是经多种渠道高速处理后产生的,其处理和分析可能需要更强大的新型处理器和新型算法。 [1] 尽管公众的注意力目前主要集中在搜索引擎和社交网络,许多其他行业例如在线广告、能源、通讯、保险、银行或运输业也会处理大数据,因此这些行业也会受到潜在影响。

欧洲委员会过去触及过由数据的收集和使用引起的各类问题,特别是在一些并购审查的决定上。目前问题的重点已转移到国家反垄断执法机构上,这些执法机构开始测验竞争法工具对大数据处理(收集,转让和持有)的适用性,特别是在潜在的滥用支配地位案中所起的作用。

近期发展动态包括: 2016年3月 Facebook在德国的滥用支配地位案、2016年5月10日发布的关于大数据与竞争相互影响的法德共同报告、和法国的进一步执法行动公告。其他成员国比如英国和意大利过去已考虑过部分相关问题,并有可能在将来采取措施。

这些发展是在对数据集的价值意识提升以及欧洲数据保护法改进的大背景下产生的。随着《一般数据保护条例》的通过,反垄断监管部门已开始测验竞争法工具对大数据发布的可适用性。《一般数据保护条例》为保护欧盟境内个人数据建立了新标准, [2]包括通过提高个人对其数据的控制(比如,通过对数据可移植性的新权利)。

欧洲委员会和欧洲数据保护监管机构

在过去的一系列并购审查案中,欧洲委员会曾分析过数据问题。在2008年Google/DoubleClick [3] 一案的决定中,委员会评估了双方数据库的合并是否将阻碍竞争;隐私问题曾被提到过,但并未在委员会的决定中起到决定性作用。在TomTom/TeleAtlas [4]案中,欧洲委员会考虑了数据积累导致机密数据保护级别降低的风险。在更近期的案件中,欧洲委员会被要求审查Facebook 和WhatsApp的合并[5],在审查过程中,委员会分析了Facebook是否能利用WhatsApp作为潜在的用户数据资源以提升其广告效果,但最终的结论是该担忧并不足以妨碍竞争。委员会强调,根据现有判例法, [6]任何纯粹的隐私相关的问题均不包含在其对并购审查的司法管辖权范围内, [7]这与美国的主流情况恰恰相反,在美国,与隐私相关的救济措施曾被作为交易批准附加条件的一部分。 [8]

在并购审查之外,委员会曾在IMS [9] 和Reuters案[10]等案件中考虑到数据库的代码和结构可能是参与相关市场竞争需要获得的必要设施。

近期,欧盟委员会委员Vestager在2016年1月的一次演讲中确认了委员会对大数据和竞争的兴趣,特别是隐私问题和数据资产。 [11] 她也强调,委员会目前并未发现就数据有关的任何反垄断问题。关于谷歌的反垄断未决案针对的是其广告和Android业务,但并未明确强调大数据。

欧洲数据保护监管局("EDPS")是欧洲的数据保护部门,该部门在2014年的意见发表 [12]和几次关于反垄断与数据保护的交集的研讨会组织 [13]也表现出其对该议题的兴趣。

德国联邦企业联合管理局对Facebook提起滥用支配地位案

2016年3月,德国联邦企业联合管理局("FCO")提起Facebook涉嫌滥用支配地位的诉讼。FCO怀疑Facebook可能通过其隐私条款滥用其在社交网络中的支配地位。特别是,FCO怀疑Facebook的隐私条款违反了德国的隐私法。尽管拥有市场支配地位的公司不能仅仅因为违反隐私法而在反垄断法下被提起诉讼,FCO将评估Facebook的地位是否允许其施加一些在其不具备支配地位的情况下用户本不会接受的合约条款。

尽管欧洲委员会之前的决定中分析过数据收集对公司在广告市场中的市场地位的影响,FCO提起的这项案件则首次将从用户处收集数据与潜在的滥用市场支配地位(对用户而言)结合起来。

该案可能需要数年才能作出决定,主要原因是即使在Facebook并未向用户收费的情况下,FCO仍必须证明Facebook在"市场"上的支配地位, [14]并证明假如Facebook不具备支配地位,其不可能施加上述条款,这将涉及复杂的建立在假设条件下的分析。

这项行动受到了欧盟官员的好评:欧盟的数据保护总负责人认为该项举措是一项值得欢迎的积极进展。

法国和德国于5月10日发布关于竞争法和数据的报告

在Facebook一案提起之前,FCO和法国反垄断机构(Autorité de la Concurrence)就对竞争法和大数据的联合报告展开合作,该报告已于2016年5月10日发布。

该报告并未要求增加执法行动,而是简要表述了两家机构对大数据对反垄断法的影响以及潜在危害理论的看法。该报告大体上试图将数据放在现有反垄断原则框架之下进行分析(比如数据引起的进入障碍或排他性或剥削性滥用支配地位背景下的数据问题)。该报告引用了许多过去的案例以阐明主管机构如何分析反垄断案中的数据问题,并就主管机构将来可能关注的问题提供指导。

该报告称,将来的案件可能将基于以下理论:滥用支配地位行为是由公司通过数据获取市场支配力的能力引起的,而这种能力是其竞争者所无法比拟的。在评估这项"数据优势"时,主管机构可能会评估数据是稀有的还是容易复制的,以及数据收集的规模和范围是否具有重要性。

法国的行业调查及对法德报告的后续跟进

与之并行的是,法国反垄断机构表示其计划就大数据展开市场调查。据称,今年初反垄断机构已联络部分法国行业经营者,从而为其市场调查做准备。市场调查并不特别针对任何公司,而是大体上作为主管机构更好了解市场情况和动态的调查工具。尽管如此,主管机构总负责人并未排除调查结果可能导致对行业经营者立案的可能。

英国

2015年6月,英国竞争与市场管理局("CMA")发布了一份关于"消费者数据的商业使用"的报告。 [15] 这是一项事实调查项目,旨在帮助CMA了解公司如何使用大数据,消费者如何参与其中,大数据的优势以及对消费者和竞争的潜在伤害。CMA列举了大量大数据对消费者的益处,其中包括更有针对性的广告和促销,提供免费服务,改进产品开发和更为个性化的产品和服务。CMA也重点列出了由大数据收集引起的潜在的反竞争效果,特别是公司能够凭借其收集的数据获得市场支配力,并随后使用该支配力,通过阻止或限制获取和使用消费者数据的途径来排除其竞争者。然而,CMA并未表示其发现了任何足以使其展开新的反垄断调查的具体问题。

2015年11月,在英国金融领域具有竞争法执法权力的英国金融行为监管局("FCA")呼吁提供零售业普通保险大数据的相关信息。 [16] FCA的问询部分旨在寻求了解大数据如何影响零售保险业产品的竞争,特别是私人汽车和家庭保险,以及其对消费者的影响。这些初步调查结果的反馈声明将在今年下半年发布。这些调查结果可能会包含通过市场研究作出的更为深入的调查。

意大利

尽管在意大利大数据的收集和使用并不在意大利竞争局("ICA")的关注范围之内,ICA已将不正当商业行为法和《欧盟运行条约》第102条广泛应用到查处部分服务供应商对其客户施加的不正当商业条款中。特别是在滥用市场支配地位领域,针对Facebook的未决FCO调查与ICA过去的一些调查相似,后者将电信和电力企业施加给接替之前订购用户的新订购用户的经济负担(即,为了接替订购服务,新的订购用户必须先将之前订购用户的欠款缴清)视为剥削型滥用的一种形式。ICA调查下的危害理论体现为,在对其订购用户施加上述不公平合同条款时,具有支配地位的供应商的行为仅仅是在利用其市场支配力从用户处获取额外的利益,这样的行为可以被归纳为通过过高定价从消费者处获取垄断利润的一种方式。

比利时

2015年9月,比利时竞争主管机构通过了一项和解决定,针对国家彩票滥用其支配地位的行为处以120万欧元的罚款。经发现,国家彩票使用其在法定垄断的公众彩票下的客户数据库,来出售其参与市场竞争的新的体育博彩产品。

结论

目前,各国家竞争主管机构在了解大数据的收集和使用对竞争的影响时走在前列。这些主管机构也越来越一致认为现有反垄断法律与执法权力应足以解决任何发现的问题,且最可能产生的问题的源泉是潜在的滥用市场支配地位行为。当然,企业对客户的数据搜集将继续飞速发展,特别是在物联网发展的背景下。这些趋势将会有所冲突,且我们预计一家或多家主管机构会在不久的将来会对那些在收集大数据方面已悄悄超过竞争者,并可能使用这些数据在同一市场或邻近市场的竞争者中取得优势的特定公司展开反垄断调查。大数据的收集和分析有许多有利于竞争和消费者的好处,但是收集这些数据的公司应审慎考虑他们应如何使用数据以及如何更好地避免反垄断风险。

Footnotes

[1] 定义见《关于竞争法与数据的法德联合报告》。

[2] 详见众达评论,《欧洲就数据保护改革达成一致意见》。

[3] Case COMP/M.4731, 11.03.2008。

[4] Case COMP/M.4854, 14.05.2008。

[5] 尽管并未满足基于营业额的欧盟营业额门槛,但却因其在三个欧盟国家的市场份额而满足基于市场份额的国家并购审查门槛,从而允许欧盟对其进行审查。

[6] Case C-235/08, Asnef, [2006] ECR I-11125, § 63。

[7] 欧洲委员会新闻发布,2014年10月3日。

[8] 联邦贸易委员会消费者保护局局长Jessica L. Rich给Facebook的首席隐私保密官 Erin Egan和WhatsApp Inc. 的法律总顾问Anne Hoge的信函。

[9] 2001年7月3日委员会就COMP D3/38.044, IMS Health.案件的决定。

[10] 2012年12月20日委员会就AT.39654, Reuters Instrument Codes.案的决定。

[11] 2016年1月18日委员会公告,"大数据世界的竞争"。

[12] 欧洲数据保护监管局,2014年3月,"大数据时代的隐私和竞争:数字经济中数据保护、竞争法和消费者保护之间的相互影响"。

[13] 欧洲数据保护监管局,2014年6月2日"隐私、消费者、竞争和大数据研讨会报告"及其他研讨会。

[14] 提供免费服务是否构成相关市场的问题并未解决。在2016年5月2日的一次访谈中, FCO局长Mundt称FCO在实践中将其视为相关市场,但呼吁德国立法者澄清该问题。

[15] 英国竞争与市场管理局,"消费者数据的商业使用"。

[16] 英国金融行为监管局,"请求提供信息:零售业普通保险中的大数据"。

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