Germany's Facebook Order Will Be Studied by EU, Vestager Says

(Bloomberg) -- The results of a German probe into Facebook Inc.’s user terms and website tracking will be studied with "great interest" by European Union regulators, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said after a Prague event.

"We study it with the same great interest because of the two legs" of the German decision "both that Facebook is a dominant player in this market but also how they interpret privacy rules," Vestager told Bloomberg News. "I don’t think that it can serve as a template" for EU action since the case sits "in the zone between competition law and privacy" and was partly based on German law.

While Facebook was fined by the EU for a merger violation, it hasn’t been targeted by an antitrust investigation into its behavior. Vestager said recently she’d "take an interest" into leaked Facebook emails that included a threat to cut off data access to a potential rival. She spoke earlier this week about the importance of monitoring data monopolies and internet gatekeepers that can choke off data access to rivals.

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