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The German government’s decision to tighten regulation around foreign investment control in Germany means that acquisitions by foreign companies are facing much greater scrutiny. The government’s amendments to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung) means that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will be able to inspect, and potentially prohibit, an acquisition of a shareholding of at least 25 percent in a German company by a non-EU investor if they deem the…
Facebook has a unique positioning in the digital market, which is based entirely on the collecting of user data. Currently, users have only one option: accepting the terms and conditions imposed by Facebook or being excluded from the social network entirely. After almost three years of investigation, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) found that the social network’s practices violate competition law and data protection principles. Specifically, the FCO held that Facebook abused its dominant…
By way of an EU regulation adopted by the Council and European Parliament, the European Commission, European Parliament, and Council of the European Union reached an agreement on February 14, 2019 to implement new rules designed to ensure a fair, transparent and predictable business environment to both end consumers and entrepreneurs using third party online platforms for their business. An example of this includes hotels that offer rooms through booking platforms or app developers who…
On 11 April 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) released the final report on its sector inquiry into comparison websites. The FCO’s report identifies areas of concern in various industries, including energy, telecommunications, insurance, finance and travel, which are particularly relevant for consumers. The findings indicate that in some cases consumers are being misled, that transparency obligations are not fully complied with, and that advertisements are not always identified as such by the relevant…