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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Germany's top court ruled Tuesday that Facebook abused its market power by illegally harvesting user data in the country, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The case against Facebook, pushed forward by Germany's competition regulator last year, represents one of the first major antitrust actions against Facebook.

What's next: The court has mandated that people should be able to prevent their Facebook data from being associated with WhatsApp and Instagram accounts, outside websites and third-party apps without their consent, as Germany's antitrust watchdog argued last year.

  • Facebook says it has 14 months to work with Germany's antitrust watchdog to hammer out technical details for the court's mandate, as the company's appeal of the competition regulator continues.
  • Meanwhile, the campaign to get advertisers to halt spending on Facebook continues to gain steam. The New York Times reports that Eddie Bauer, Ben & Jerry’s and Magnolia Pictures are all suspending ads on the platform.

Yes, but: Tuesday's decision "may not be the last word," the Times' Adam Satariano writes, since Germany's lower court could possibly rule in Facebook’s favor.

What they're saying: “Today’s decision relates to the preliminary proceedings on the Court’s stay order," Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday. "The main proceedings, before the Court of Appeals, are ongoing and we will continue to defend our position that there is no antitrust abuse. There will be no immediate changes for people or businesses who use our products and services in Germany."

Go deeper: Germany tells Facebook to curb data gathering

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add information from Facebook on the next steps the company faces to address the ruling.

Go deeper

Oct 1, 2020 - Technology

Congress looks to squeeze Big Tech ahead of election

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are bracing for a tough day in three separate Capitol Hill committees Thursday, as lawmakers move to show they're tough on social media platforms in the days leading up to the election.

Why it matters: Big Tech has become a go-to punching bag for both the right and left, and tech policy has become increasingly fertile ground for grievance politics.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.