Facebook gains court backing in document row with EU regulators

In this news, we discuss the Facebook gains court backing in document row with EU regulators.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook FB.O on Thursday secured support from the second-highest European court in a row with EU antitrust regulators on Thursday for what the US company calls excessive data requests after a judge set specific conditions for access to its documents.

The American social media group challenged the European Commission before the Luxembourg Court in July over its requests for access to documents in the context of two investigations related to its mine of data and its online marketplace.

Facebook alleged that EU antitrust regulators were looking for information beyond what was necessary, including highly personal details.

The Tribunal declared Facebook will send the requested documents related to its business activities at the European Commission.

“These documents are then placed in a virtual data room which must be accessible to as limited a number of members of the investigation team as possible, in the presence (virtual or physical) of an equivalent number of Facebook Irish lawyers ”, declared the President of the Court, Marc van der Woude.

Facebook, which said it has already provided more than a million documents to EU antitrust authorities, welcomed the court ruling.

“We particularly welcome its assessment that highly personal and irrelevant information enjoys strong legal protections that must be respected in the Commission’s ongoing investigation,” the company said in a statement.

In their trawl Facebook documents, EU regulators focused on 2,500 search phrases that include ‘big question’, ‘stop’ and ‘not good for us’, and which could also be found in employee health information or even job applications, a person familiar with the subject previously told Reuters.

Failure to comply with the regulators’ request for documents can result in daily penalties of 8 million euros ($ 9.5 million).

The cases are T-451/20 R, T-452/20 R.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jon Boyle and Jane Merriman

Original © Thomson Reuters

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