03 October 2020

Data Breach and EU competition law

'Can competition law protect consumers in cases of a dominant company breach of data protection rules?' by Marija Stojanovic in (2020) European Competition Journal comments 

 This paper focuses on the “burning debate” of whether competition law and data protection could go: “hand in hand”. More accurately, whether a breach of data protection law could be considered a breach of competition law and serve as a tool to define that a dominant company abused its dominant position in digital markets. Notably, the recent preliminary finding in the favour of dual proceedings was brought by Bundeskartellamt in the Facebook case but the “too harsh” decision by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court created additional confusion and contradicted Bundeskartellamt’s approach. However, the twist happened this week when the German Federal Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Bundeskartellamt. The position of the author is in favour of the need for dual proceedings. A breach of data protection can be considered a breach of competition rules only if a cogent theory of harm based on solid evidence proves that competition is harmed.