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Volume 53 Issue 1

Article

Data Privacy and Antitrust in Comparative Perspective

Salil K. Mehra

31 Mar 2021

The current tension between the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU) competition law communities regarding online platforms is high and rising, particularly regarding Google and Facebook.[1]See generally John M. Newman, Antitrust in Zero-Price Markets: Foundations, 164 U. PA. L. REV. 149 (2015) [hereinafter Antitrust in Zero-Price Markets: Foundations].The higher scrutiny seen in the EU has focused on a myriad of issues, ranging from allegations that market power has been leveraged in ways that harm competition, to the undisclosed use of user data.[2]Ryan Browne, Europe’s Privacy Overhaul Has Led to $126 Million in Fines— But Regulators Are Just Getting Started, CNBC (Jan. 19, 2020, 7:02 PM), https://www.cnbc … Continue reading This tension is exacerbated by the economic salience of the “FAANG” (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) firms, several of which are in the European Commission’s crosshairs.[3]Jason Fernando, FAANG Stock, INVESTOPEDIA (Jan. 24, 2020), https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/faang-stocks.asp [https://perma.cc/533V-63DT]. All of the firms, together with Microsoft— an earlier flashpoint of regulatory tension between the U.S. and the EU— are U.S.-based and highly ranked among the world’s most valuable firms [4]Id..

References

References
1 See generally John M. Newman, Antitrust in Zero-Price Markets: Foundations, 164 U. PA. L. REV. 149 (2015) [hereinafter Antitrust in Zero-Price Markets: Foundations].
2 Ryan Browne, Europe’s Privacy Overhaul Has Led to $126 Million in Fines— But Regulators Are Just Getting Started, CNBC (Jan. 19, 2020, 7:02 PM), https://www.cnbc .com/2020/01/19/eu-gdpr-privacy-law-led-to-over-100-million-in-fines.html [https://per ma.cc/A7MN-WU2N] (reporting on fines for nonconsensual use of user data); Adam Satariano, Facebook Loses Antitrust Decision in Germany over Data Collection, N.Y. TIMES (June 23, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/technology/facebook-antitrustgermany.html [https://perma.cc/7JXB-VXAY] (reporting that Facebook lost the appeal to a German court’s decision that found it had violated competition law by abusing its “dominance” in user data collection).
3 Jason Fernando, FAANG Stock, INVESTOPEDIA (Jan. 24, 2020), https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/faang-stocks.asp [https://perma.cc/533V-63DT].
4 Id.

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Charles Klein Professor of Law, Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, USA, smehra@temple.edu. This Article was prepared for the Cornell International Law Journal’s March 2019 Symposium, titled “Law’s New Frontier: Cybersecurity, Privacy and Online Expression.”