The European Union’s top court ruled Tuesday that tech giants regulated by privacy officials primarily in one EU country can still face legal action by privacy officials based in another member country. The ruling opens the door to more litigation against Big Tech by country-level European data watchdogs.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the two companies’ power in mobile ecosystems could be leading to higher prices in apps and digital advertising, as well as potentially reduced innovation and less competition.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, Google said its Android operating system “provides people with more choice than any other mobile platform in deciding which apps they use, and enables thousands of developers and manufacturers to build successful businesses. We welcome the CMA’s efforts to understand the details and differences between platforms before designing new rules.”
In a statement, Facebook welcomed what it described as the Court’s decision reaffirming the dominant role of lead data authorities and the ability of other privacy regulators to step in only in exceptional scenarios under the law.
“We are pleased that the CJEU has upheld the value and principles of the one-stop-shop mechanism, and highlighted its importance in ensuring the efficient and consistent application of GDPR across the EU,” said Jack Gilbert, an associate general counsel at Facebook, in a statement.