1 June 2021 – The Facebook competition law case reaches the CJEU: Can EU competition law and personal data protection law reinforce each other?

Digital Services Act (DSA) Observatory at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) – University of Amsterdam

1 June 2021, 15:00-16:30 pm Online via Zoom, the link will be shared beforehand


In 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) decided that Facebook abuses its dominance in social media markets by undercutting legal standards of personal data protection. The appeal against this decision has produced a cascade of German courts decisions reversing lower courts. In essence, the question is how far competition law can reinforce personal data protection law.

Two months ago, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (competent to rule on FCO’s decisions) filed a request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on a series of crucial questions at the interface between competition law and data protection law, which also cover the competence of the competition authority to consider GDPR violations when investigating breaches of competition law.

Clearly, the CJEU referral has the potential to deliver an authoritative interpretation on data-driven market definition, the finding of dominance and what constitutes abusive behavior when personal data is the game. Behind it looms the larger question of how far competition law can take on board non-competition law policy objectives.

In this workshop – organized by the DSA Observatory at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) (University of Amsterdam) – we will discuss these and other pivotal questions with three top experts in the field: Heiko Dünkel (Head of Litigation at the German Consumer Federation), Dr. Kati Cseres (University of Amsterdam) and Dr. Inge Graef (University of Tilburg). The session will start with some opening remarks by the invited speakers, after which there will be room for discussion. The session will be moderated by Dr. Kristina Irion.

If you would like to participate, you can RSVP (indicating your position and affiliation) to Ilaria Buri: i.buri@uva.nl