In an interim proceeding, the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Düsseldorf ruled in favour of Facebook's application to suspend the Federal Cartel Office's (FCO) decision of February 2019. Although only of a provisional nature, the decision makes it very likely that Facebook will win this dispute over extensive data use by digital platforms.
Background of the case
Now, the OLG Düsseldorf has suspended the FCO's decision. Hence, Facebook is not obliged to implement the provisions of the decision for the moment. After a summary examination of the case, the court had serious doubts over the lawfulness of the FCO's decision. Even if there were a breach of data protection rules, this would not necessarily mean an infringement of competition law. Not every breach of law is a breach of competition law at the same time.
What is next?
While courts usually phrase their decisions in such preliminary proceedings very cautiously to avoid predetermining the main proceeding, the very explicit views of OLG Düsseldorf in this case hardly provide any leeway to uphold the FCO's decision. It seems the Federal Court of Justice is going to be the next to deal with these questions arising from the digital platform's extensive use of data.
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