Facebook may be abusing a dominant position in the market for social networks to impose unfair privacy policies on its users, Germany's antitrust authority suspects.
The German Federal Cartel Office opened proceedings Wednesday against Facebook's German subsidiary, the U.S. parent company, and Facebook Ireland, to which the company delegates responsibility for the privacy of all users outside North America.
The government agency suspects that Facebook violates Germany's data protection laws with its conditions of use, and that it may have a dominant position in the social networking market in country.
Facebook has already had a number of run-ins with German authorities over its user agreements. Most recently, on Monday a Berlin regional court fined the company €100,000 (US$109,000) for delays in respecting an earlier court order to delete some wording from rules on licensing intellectual property.