Abuse of dominance
Image Source - https://rb.gy/mb6paz

This article is written by Shruti Khaitan.

Abstract

With changing markets and the increased dependence on online mediums for meeting our daily needs of shopping, dating and human interaction among others, we share a lot of information with online platforms. The foremost in this category is social media websites like Facebook. The larger the forum, the more control they have over the information that is being obtained from the consumers and the services being offered to them. This becomes even more complicated due to the network nature of such markets. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that no single player is dominant in the market and as an effect, is abusing the power that they gain in consequence of such dominance.

This paper analyses the competition law issues that arise in social networking markets with emphasis on the dominance of abusive practices being carried out by Facebook. It also delves into the need to transform the tools of examining anti-competitive practices being used by the CCI, keeping in mind the modified nature of enterprises in the online market. Conclusively, it presents suggestions to the CCI for taking suo-moto action on the abusive practices of Facebook, and presents the changes that need to be made in the current anti-trust mechanism in order to undertake the same.

Introduction

In early 2019 Bundeskartellamt, the Federal Cartel Office which is the Competition Regulator of Germany, recognised Facebook to be abusing its dominant position in the social media market.[1] The leading social media player, Facebook was held liable for having exploited personal data of its users. The practice of collecting, collating and matching user data from third party websites, without the express consent of the users was seen as an abuse of Facebook’s dominant position in the market.[2]

With improving technology and increasing reliance on online services for our daily interactions, searches, shopping, dating and many more, changing technology has made a serious impact on all our lives. The most evident of these is the dependence on social networking websites for connecting people to each other. What was initially restricted to sharing pictures and videos of one’s life with other people on the platform, has now evolved to also include circulation of news, advertisements and political propagandas among other things.[3]

To make their services better and to provide personalized news and advertisements to its customers, these social media websites such as Facebook collect extensive consumer data.[4] While this allows them to provide user-specific posts and information to each customer, it also allows them control over sensitive data, thus indicating market power which not only raises concerns relating to privacy, but also competition law. [5]

Due to the increasing dependence on social media and growing users in this market, it is essential that competition regulators look into the competition law concerns that can arise from their practices. Abuse of dominance through companies like Facebook is not a far-fetched conclusion, but rather, an immediate issue that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) needs to delve into. This too needs to be carefully evaluated due to the non-traditional structure of these online platforms and the services provided by them.

This paper analyses the competition law issues that arise in social media markets, emphasising on the abuse of dominance with respect to Facebook. It examines the need to transform the current tools of scrutinizing the anti-competitive practices in the behaviour of an enterprise, keeping in mind the varying nature of such enterprises. Finally, it presents suggestions to the CCI for taking suo-moto action on the abusive practices of Facebook, and presents the changes that need to be made in the current anti-trust mechanism for doing so.

Determination of Abuse of Dominance: The Three-Step Process

Section 4 of The Competition Act, 2002 (see here) guides us towards a three step process in determining whether an enterprise is abusing its dominant position in the relevant market. The first step in this process is delineating the relevant market in which the enterprise functions. The relevant market is defined as a sum of the relevant product market and the relevant geographic market.[6] This is followed by an assessment of dominance of the enterprise, post which an analysis of its actions is conducted, to determine if such enterprise has indulged in anti-competitive behaviour by abusing its dominance in the relevant market. Such analysis in India is conducted by the CCI, predominantly based on qualitative standards or a form based approach.[7]

This three-step process must be followed regardless of the kind of enterprise under scrutiny. With technological improvements and increasing relevance of the tech-based sector, the tools used to conduct this analysis must be the same. CCI needs to move towards an effects based reasons approach, rather than relying its decisions on qualitative factors.[8] Even the tools used by the competition regulators of other jurisdictions such as the Small but Significant and Non-Transitory Increase in Price (SSNIP) test needs to be modified to suit the needs of this free of cost network market. This becomes important because the price paid to social media companies like Facebook is not in the form of money, rather consumer data. Therefore, how such data is collected and distributed, should be one of the primary concerns.

Delineating the Relevant Market

Determination of the relevant market plays an important role in assessing the dominance of an enterprise. The broader the definition of the relevant market, higher are the chances of the enterprise’s share in such a market going down, thus reducing the possibility of it being declared dominant. The nature of the market too plays a major role in this relevant market discovery. “A starting point for developing a framework that is more favourable to innovation as compared to a strict product market definition would be to define markets more loosely and impose less strict market boundaries. As more hints become available on what will constitute the products or services of the future, it will be easier to identify the required inputs and thus the relevant market for innovation. It can however be doubted whether the Commission is willing to move away from a strict product market definition.” [9]

Relevant Product Market

Facebook is a leading social networking website which makes it a subject of competition law review. There are however, many other players in the market as well. This includes domains like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr to name a few. Since there are many qualitative factors that differentiate the online networking forums from offline ones, a strong argument can be made for online social networking to be the relevant product market.[10]

Deducing the relevant product market requires certain considerations:

  • Social Media as a Network Market: Digital markets, particularly social media are defined through a network effect. “A network effect refers to the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other existing or potential users”.[11] The value of the market is directly proportional to the number of users utilizing the platform. In social media, the players compete ‘for’ the market, rather than competing ‘in’ it, leading to the outcome of a ‘winner takes all’[12]

Such a network effect is beneficial to enterprises in two ways. Firstly, it allows them access to huge amounts of customer data, which in turn aids them in offering better quality services. This helps them attract more consumers and more data, thus creating a vicious cycle of consumers and data collection. Secondly, the depository of data helps lure advertisers to their platform, thus bringing money to the enterprise, allowing them to further improve their quality of services and gain more customers.[13] If this continues over a period of time, the platform size increases so much that it becomes almost impossible for any new entrant to survive.

  • Facebook as a Two-Sided Market: Social media websites act as a two-sided market by bringing two unique customer groups together, such that both bodies of users benefit from each other.[14] The first side of this market is the seed idea with which Facebook entered the market, i.e. linking users to create virtual connections between them. But since this service is offered free of cost, over the years another side of users was added to the picture. Facebook started charging money from advertisers, to present their advertisements to the relevant user groups, based on the information that they collected from the users’ activities.[15]

Thus, it is essential that when considering the relevant market for such companies, the competition regulator modifies the tools of economic analysis so as to consider the market from the perspective of both sides of the user base. This is so, because what may constitute a substitute for advertisers on Facebook, may not be for private users. For example, social media networks may be substitutable by search engines for advertisers, but not for consumers.[16]

When analyzing the Facebook-WhatsApp merger in 2017 (see here), European Commission, despite not identifying the two-side market explicitly, identified that the market for consumers was different from the market for advertisers.[17]

  • Relevance of the SSNIP Test in a Free of Cost Market: Various competition law jurisdictions follow the Small but Significant, Non-Transitory Change in Price (SSNIP) test as the primary tools for outlining the relevant market. The rationale behind the SSNIP test, also called the Hypothetical Monopolist Test, is to “arrive at the smallest possible basket of goods that a hypothetical monopolist can use to increase prices profitably”.[18] The direct application of this test becomes tricky in a market that offers free services to its users. Thus the SSNIP test must be modified in order to adapt it to platforms that offer their services free of cost.

In the social media market that offers free services to its consumers, the price paid for a service in a brick and mortar market can be equated to the quality of services being received by the consumers.[19] Thus, a test of Small but Significant, Non-Transitory Decrease in Quality (SSNDQ) is suggested for such platforms.[20] This test should be applied to check if a small but significant non-transitory decrease in quality of the services being offered by Facebook, would convince users to switch to other available substitutes such as Twitter and LinkedIn or to other far-fetched alternatives like YouTube or Pinterest. It is essential to note that such changes being considered must be non-transitory and shouldn’t be temporary difficulties that the users may encounter on the interface.

The German legislature in 2017, amended certain sections of their competition legislation in order to make it more compatible with the new attributes of the digital market. They added a clause 18(2a) (see here) which created a provision for relevant product market considerations to not be invalidated for the reason that the goods or service was provided free of cost.[21]

These tests should however be applied extremely cautiously when dealing with social media giants like Facebook, to avoid an error by way of the Cellophane fallacy. When the product or service is already being offered at a monopolist price, then applying the SSNIP, or SSNDQ test in this case, would result in construing the relevant market too broadly, thus committing the Cellophane fallacy.[22] The issue with Facebook however is somewhat the opposite. “If there were twenty social media websites available for free, then the average user will pick the one that crashes least, is the most reliable, protects his data best, and is the most user-friendly. However, if the majority of people use Facebook, then there is an overwhelming probability that a new consumer will choose this platform too, even if it has faults, in order to be in contact with everyone”.[23]

Keeping in mind all relevant considerations, limitations and tools, when deciding the case of abuse of dominance by Facebook, the Federal Cartel Office of Germany recently determined the relevant product market as Private Social Network Market (see here).[24]

Relevant Geographic Market

Figuring out the relevant geographic market for internet services and digital platforms is less complicated than conducting the same analysis for offline goods and services. Relevant geographic market is often defined as the geographic area where the trade of goods and services generally takes place and has the opportunity to effectively compete in the said market considering factors such as transport costs.[25] In the case of social media websites like Facebook however, the only important consideration is the availability of the internet, which is often available at cheap rates in today’s world and is not limited by distance.[26]

The only question therefore with respect to Facebook is whether the relevant geographic market should be at a national-level or global. Fortunately for us, CCI when deciding the Google case in 2018 (see here) made it clear that when conditions of competition are homogenous, like for digital platforms, the geographic market is the territory of India.[27] This becomes further relevant in the context of Section 4 (see here), which makes it clear that the geographic market couldn’t extend beyond the territory of India.[28]

Even the German Federal Cartel Office decided on similar lines in the case against Facebook (see here) where they outlined the geographic market to be nation-wide:

“The geographic market is defined as Germany-wide as a result of the investigations, based on the fact that the service was found to be used predominantly to connect with people in the user’s own country, special national user habits and the lack of opportunities for supply-side substitution”.[29]

Assessment of Dominant Position

The next step after delineating the relevant market is evaluating whether the enterprise in question, i.e. Facebook enjoys a dominant position in the online social networking market of India. It was held by the CCI in Shri Shamsher Kataria vs. Honda Siel Cars (see here), that the concept of dominance is linked to the ability of an enterprise to operate independent of market forces.[30] The factors mentioned in Section 19(4) (see here) such as market share and consumer dependence provide a guiding structure for assessing dominance.[31] Once again however, these factors need to be modified and analysed with the backdrop of the changing constitution of the market place and the players therein.

  • Market Share: Facebook’s share in the market can be judged either through its user market or through its share in advertising revenues. Its market share from the perspective of users in India was seen to be close to 80% in January 2018.[32] It was also seen to have 66.3% of the global market share in December 2018, followed by Pinterest with 16.3% and Twitter having 8.2%.[33] It is evident that in respect of market share, Facebook is surely a market leader for consumers. In the advertising sector however, Google and Facebook together are seen to be a digital duopoly, which too is now predicted to reduce due to Amazon opening its door for advertising on its platform.[34] Thus the company’s presence does not seem to be large enough to indicate a monopoly in the advertising sector.
  • Entry Barriers: Due to Facebook’s large market share, “the number of users and the array of fine-grained information that users have posted are on a scale vastly superior to its competitors and are an important source of direct and indirect network effects for users, advertisers, application developers, and other service providers”.[35] Additionally, the fact that most users feel locked into Facebook because of work, social or personal reasons, creates a sticky effect, i.e. Facebook has established its market power over such users.[36] The question of entry barriers in the social media market thus, does not end with having the technology and finance to establish a new networking forum. The issue persists despite having entered the market, in gaining market share and power due to a combination of the ‘network effect’ and ‘stickiness’ of such markets.
  • Switching Costs: Behavioral economics research shows that once habits are formed, certain cognitive costs are created while switching from those habits. If an individual is habituated to using Facebook, they may hesitate in moving to another social media network owing to the effort, time and energy required for doing the same. Thus, unlike what is ordinarily believed in this debate, the one click required in switching to a substitute social media service, comes with a very high cognitive cost.[37] Such switching costs help the market leader further maintain their dominant position.

The amendment to the German anti-trust regulation also provides for dealing with such network effects of this new tech-based economy (see here). It specifically provides that when assessing market dominance, the regulator must also place significance on direct and indirect network effects, switching costs, access to data as well as innovation driven competitive pressure.[38] This is something all competition law jurisdictions should take inspiration from and should include such ideas in their jurisprudence, be it through legislative changes or judicial interpretations.

In the German case against Facebook, the Federal Cartel Office held the company to be a dominant player in their national social media market, with a market share of about 95%. They also took into account the switching costs for users to shift to substitute networks, and concluded that it is not possible for users to shift without effort or without foregoing the level of satisfaction acquired from the platform.[39]

Abuse of Dominant Position

The final step in holding an enterprise liable for abuse of dominance, is reasoning the practices of the enterprise as being exploitative or exclusionary, therefore leading to abuse of their dominant position. The challenges posed to social media platforms in establishing that their conduct is not abusive, vary drastically from the issues faced by other offline enterprises.

  • Data Misuse: With companies like Facebook, the biggest risk is the extensive data that is collected by them from each of their users. Excessive data collection by tracking the user’s activities can be seen as the counterpart for price increase in the social media market.[40] Such extensive data is easy to misuse in understanding user preferences and can be manipulated through effective strategizing.[41]
  • Confirmation Bias: Confirmation bias is an individual’s psychological tendency to only pay attention to material that they believe in and ignore all other data that refutes it.[42] Facebook allows this by collecting user data from the posts they like and the pages they visit and only showing them advertisements and news that they would approve of. While such personalisation is effective in case of advertisements, as it allows products and services to reach the desired consumer, it results in exclusionary effects when applied to other information as well.
  • Indispensable for Online Advertisers: Advertisers are attracted to forums with huge customer bases. Facebook being the dominant player in the social media market for users, thus provides the most desirable platform for advertisers to reach their relevant audience, coupled with Facebook’s technology of matching the advertiser to the consumers through their algorithms. Thus, advertisers find themselves in a locked-in position and are unable to refuse presenting their goods and services on Facebook despite unfair terms and conditions.[43]

These are merely few illustrations of issues that may be considered in holding Facebook liable for abuse of its dominant position. The German Federal Cartel office in the aforementioned case highlighted that with the change in the market structures and platforms, a link has been established between data privacy laws and competition laws.[44] “The Cartel Office applied data protection principles in its assessment of Facebook’s terms and conditions; according to data protection legislation, users should be able to decide freely and without coercion how their personal data is used, and Facebook did not obtain effective consent for its processing of data, as user consent would only be effective if the provision of its services were not made subject to this consent”.[45] They further noted that the burden on advertising companies to be dependent on a dominant supplier of advertising space in social media was blatant and clear abuse of dominance of Facebook.

Conclusion

The decision of the German Federal Cartel Officer in the Facebook case has been appealed and reversed by the Higher Regional Court and Facebook was released of the obligation to not combine user data acquired from different social media platforms.[46] While the regional court has forwarded this issue to the Federal Court of Justice for proper guidelines in such cases, this has taken us back to an uncertain position in dealing with competition law issues arising in the online social media market.

The Competition Commission of India must take suo moto action on the abusive practices of Facebook in India in public interest, owing to a huge chunk of the population being dependent on the platform for its social media interactions. Sensitive personal information of such a large segment of people creates a high risk of misuse and exploitation of data. India however is the largest market for Facebook in terms of the number of users on the platform.[47] Thus in the Indian position, a peculiar scenario can be considered where the consumers have countervailing buying power over Facebook, thus restricting the enterprise from engaging in abusive practices.

CCI however needs to modify its tools in analyzing this case of abusive practices by a social media platform. The need to move away from its qualitative standards towards an effects based analysis is greater now more than ever. The SSNDQ test as discussed above must be adapted when deciding such cases. Additionally, the Commission may have to move beyond the factors stated in Section 4(2) (see here) when assessing whether the enterprise has abused its dominant position.[48] While the considerations of exploitative and exclusionary abuses mentioned in the section apply aptly to offline markets, the needs of the developing technological markets need to be highlighted when deciding such disputes.

India is a young competition law jurisdiction. It is essential that we expand our jurisprudence keeping in mind the growing needs of the technical and economic environment that surrounds us. Placing undue burden on abiding by the text of the law in dealing with new sectors, will do more harm than good and would instead take us one step behind in effectively regulating the competition in the country.

References

[1] ‘Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources’ (Bundeskartellamt, 07 February 2019) <https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/SharedDocs/Meldung/EN/Pressemitteilungen/2019/07_02_2019_Facebook.html> accessed 22 May 2020.

[2] Silke Heinz, ‘Bundeskartellamt hits “don’t like” button on Facebook’ (Kluwer Competition Law Blog, 11 February 2019) <http://competitionlawblog.kluwercompetitionlaw.com/2019/02/11/bundeskartellamt-hits-dont-like-button-on-facebook/?doing_wp_cron=1590088155.9130361080169677734375> accessed 22 May 2020.

[3] Maya E. Dollarhide, ‘Social Media Definition’ (Investopedia, 02 May 2020) <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media.asp> accessed 22 May 2020.

[4] Sheela Singh, Priyanka Arya, Alpna Patel and Arvind Kumar Tiwari, ‘Social Media Analysis Through Big Data Analytics: A Survey’ 2019 2nd international Conference on  Advance Computing and Software Engineering <https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=313027093103007068103083090108070095029078064077029082029098031075115101102017008103006022018042109022044118086030093108027104006076043087080126006114016121095007099010045062064025091082123027123065118001126067115126010110108084100126096091024124007028&EXT=pdf> accessed 22 May 2020. 

[5] Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy ‘Competition Law Issues in the Digital Economy’ (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, May 2019).

[6] Section 2(r), The Competition Act, 2002 (IN).

[7] Avaantika Kakkar and Cyril Shroff, ‘India: Abuse of Dominance’ (Global Competition Review, 19 March 2019) <https://globalcompetitionreview.com/insight/the-asia-pacific-antitrust-review-2019/1188990/india-abuse-of-dominance> accessed 20 May 2020.

[8] Dr. Geeta Gouri, ‘Making Markets Work Effectively in India: Experience of the Competition Commission’ (Fair Conference at the Trade Commission of Japan, 22 February 2013) <https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/speeches/DrGG.pdf?download=1> accessed 22 May 2020.

[9] Igne Graef, ‘Stretching EU Competition Law Tools for Search Engines and Social Networks’ (2015) 4(3) Internet Policy Review <http://policyreview.info/articles/analysis/stretching-eu-competition-law-tools-search-engines-and-social-networks>  accessed 22 May 2020.

[10] Spencer Weber Waller, ‘Antitrust and Social Networking’ 2011 North Carolina Law Review <https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1188&context=facpubs> accessed 22 Mat 2020.

[11] Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, ‘Data, Algorithm and Policies: Redefining the Digital Word’ (United Nations, 2018).

[12] Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs Competition Committee, ‘Big Data: Bringing Competition Policy to the Digital Era’ (Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development, 2016).

[13] ibid

[14] Aleksandra Gebicka and Andreas Heinemann, ‘Social Media & Competition Law’ (2014) 37 (2) World Competition < https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.kluwer/wcl0059&div=23&id=&page=> accessed 22 May 2020.

[15] Ben Gilbert, ‘How Facebook Makes Money from your Data, in Mark Zuckerberg’s Words’ (Business Insider India, 11 April 2018) < https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/how-facebook-makes-money-from-your-data-in-mark-zuckerbergs-words/articleshow/63717594.cms> accessed 22 May 2020.

[16] Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs Competition Committee, ‘Big Data: Bringing Competition Policy to the Digital Era’ (Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development, 2016).

[17] WhatsApp/Facebook, Case No. M.8228.

[18] Akash Krishnan and V.K. Unni, ‘Competition Regulation in Two-Sided Markets: The Indian Jurisprudence’ (National Conference on Economics of Competition Law, 01 March 2019) <https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/page_document/Papers-presented-in-2019-Conference.pdf> accessed 22 May 2020.

[19] Aleksandra Gebicka and Andreas Heinemann, ‘Social Media & Competition Law’ (2014) 37 (2) World Competition <https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.kluwer/wcl0059&div=23&id=&page=> accessed 22 May 2020.

[20] Lakshana R, ‘Abuse of Dominance by Facebook Through user Data Exploitation: Myth or Reality?’ (2018) 4(4) Indian Competition Law Review <http://iclr.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Vol.4-ABUSE-OF-DOMINANCE-BY-FACEBOOK-THROUGH-USER-DATA-EXPLOITTION-MYTH-OR-REALITY.pdf> accessed 22 May 2020.

[21] Act Against Restraints of Competition, 2013 (DE).

[22] Gene C. Schaerr, ‘The Cellophane Fallacy and the Justice Department’s Guidelines for Horizontal Mergers’ (1985) 94 (3) The Yale Law Journal < https://www.jstor.org/stable/796239> accessed 22 May 2020. 

[23] Aleksandra Gebicka and Andreas Heinemann, ‘Social Media & Competition Law’ (2014) 37 (2) World Competition <https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.kluwer/wcl0059&div=23&id=&page=> accessed 22 May 2020.

[24] Facebook, Exploitative Business Terms Pursuant to Section 19(1) GWB for Inadequate Data Processing, B6-22/16.

[25] Glenn William Brown Jr, ‘Relevant Geographic Market Delineation: The Interchangeability of Standards in Cases Arising under Section 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 7 of the Clayton Act’ (1979) 1979 (5) Duke University School of Law <https://www.jstor.org/stable/1372265> accessed 22 May 2020.

[26] Spencer Weber Waller, ‘Antitrust and Social Networking’ 2011 North Carolina Law Review <https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1188&context=facpubs> accessed 22 Mat 2020.

[27] Umar Javeed & Ors vs Google India Private Limited & Ors, Case No. 39 of 2018.

[28] Section 4, The Competition Act, 2002 (IN).

[29] Facebook, Exploitative Business Terms Pursuant to Section 19(1) GWB for Inadequate Data Processing, B6-22/16.

[30] Shri Shamsher Kataria vs Honda Siel Cars India Pvt Ltd & Ors, Case No. 03 of 2011.

[31] Section 19, The Competition Act, 2002 (IN).

[32] Jitendra Singh, ‘Facebook, Twitter Market Share Shrink as Tiktok Surges Ahead in India’ (EnTrackr, 07 November 2019) <https://entrackr.com/2019/11/tiktok-witness-growth-in-india/> accessed 23 May 2020.

[33] Nina Angelovska, ‘Facebook Losing Users to Pinterest, Youtube and Twitter (Market Share by Region)’ (Forbes, 07 January 2019) <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninaangelovska/2019/01/07/facebook-loosing-users-to-pinterest-youtube-and-twitter-market-share-by-region/#4592886f7746> accessed 23 May 2020. 

[34] Daniel Liberto, ‘Facebook, Google Digital Ad Market Share Drops as Amazon Climbs’ (Investopedia, 25 June 2019) <https://www.investopedia.com/news/facebook-google-digital-ad-market-share-drops-amazon-climbs/> accessed 23 May 2020.

[35] Spencer Weber Waller, ‘Antitrust and Social Networking’ 2011 North Carolina Law Review <https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1188&context=facpubs> accessed 22 Mat 2020.

[36] ibid

[37] Adam Candeub, ‘Behavioural Economics, Internet Search and Antitrust’ (2014) 9 A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society < https://ssrn.com/abstract=2414179> accessed 23 May 2020.

[38] Section 18(3a), Act Against Restraints of Competition, 2013 (DE)

[39] Giuseppe Colangelo, ‘Facebook and the Bundeskartellamt’s Winter of Discontent’ (Competition Policy International, 23 September 2019) <https://www.competitionpolicyinternational.com/facebook-and-bundeskartellamts-winter-of-discontent/> accessed 23 May 2020.

[40] Inge Graef, ‘Blurring Boundaries of Consumer Welfare: How to Create Synergies between Competition, Consumer and Data Protection Law in Digital Markets’ (‘Personal Data in Competition, Consumer Protection and IP Law: Towards a Holistic Approach, 07 December 2016) <https://ssrn.com/abstract=2881969> accessed 23 May 2020.

[41] Lakshana R, ‘Abuse of Dominance by Facebook Through user Data Exploitation: Myth or Reality?’ (2018) 4(4) Indian Competition Law Review <http://iclr.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Vol.4-ABUSE-OF-DOMINANCE-BY-FACEBOOK-THROUGH-USER-DATA-EXPLOITTION-MYTH-OR-REALITY.pdf> accessed 22 May 2020.

[42] James W Garrison and Kenneth Hoskisson, ‘Confirmation Bias in Predictive Reading’ (1989) 42(7) International Literacy Association and Wiley <https://www.jstor.org/stable/20200195> accessed 23 May 2020.

[43] Lakshana R, ‘Abuse of Dominance by Facebook Through user Data Exploitation: Myth or Reality?’ (2018) 4(4) Indian Competition Law Review <http://iclr.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Vol.4-ABUSE-OF-DOMINANCE-BY-FACEBOOK-THROUGH-USER-DATA-EXPLOITTION-MYTH-OR-REALITY.pdf> accessed 22 May 2020.

[44] Facebook, Exploitative Business Terms Pursuant to Section 19(1) GWB for Inadequate Data Processing, B6-22/16.

[45] Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy ‘Competition Law Issues in the Digital Economy’ (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, May 2019).

[46] ‘Germany: Facebook Succeeds in Blocking German Ban on Data Collection’ (Competition Policy International, 26 August 2019) <https://www.competitionpolicyinternational.com/germany-cartel-office-to-take-facebook-case-to-high-court/> accessed 23 May 2020.

[47] Donna Fuscaldo, ‘Facebook Now has More Users in India than in Any Other Country’ (Investopedia, 25 June 2019) <https://www.investopedia.com/news/facebook-now-has-more-users-india-any-other-country/> accessed 23 May 2020.

[48] Section 4, The Competition Act, 2002 (IN).


LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here