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Use of Compliance Data an Anti-Trust Violation in Europe?

Tom Fox | January 25, 2016

While the Schrems decision from the European Court of Justice was recognizable to most U.S. compliance and legal practitioners as (1) an extension of the EU’s greater desire for privacy than is generally allowed in the United States, and (2) continued retribution by the European Union for the Snowden revelations about NSA spying; there was an announcement recently that had the Man From FCPA scratching his head around EU data and privacy.

As reported in the New York Times, the EU’s top anti-trust enforcer, Margrethe Vestager warned that “collection of large amounts of data by a small number of tech companies like Google and Facebook could be in violation of the region’s tough competition rules.” Yes, you read that right, not privacy violations but violations of anti-trust regulations. Her theory goes something like this: “If few companies control the data you need to cut costs, then you give them the power to driver others out of the market.” Now with the...

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