Andreas Mundt, the president of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, speaks during a press conference on Facebook. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images

Germany's competition regulator moved Thursday to ban Facebook from collecting certain types of consumer data without users' consent within the country, saying its data gathering was an "abuse" of its market power.

Why it matters: The decision isn't final but nonetheless represents the first major antitrust action against the social giant. It shows how questions about Facebook's dominance are tied to concerns about its users' privacy.

Details: The regulator said that Facebook couldn't associate data from accounts on WhatsApp or Instagram, which it owns, with accounts on its main platform unless a user agrees to it.

  • Users also have to agree to have data collected on them from third-party websites, the regulator said.
  • "With regard to Facebook's future data processing policy, we are carrying out what can be seen as an internal divestiture of Facebook's data," said Andreas Mundt, president of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, in a statement.

The other side: Facebook said it will appeal the decision, arguing that the German regulator "underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with GDPR and undermines the mechanisms European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU."

Go deeper: What Facebook knows about you

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
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Internet connectivity remains a weak link for the disaster-wracked U.S. territory Puerto Rico, and some experts fear a new tranche of Federal Communications Commission subsidies set aside just for the island might not help the people most in need of a broadband connection.

Why it matters: Puerto Rico is locked out of most federal funding available to U.S. states to help expand internet service. The island risks being left behind as carriers expand and upgrade high-speed internet networks elsewhere, even as infrastructure-damaging tropical storms come faster and harder and the pandemic makes broadband even more of a must-have.

The price of Washington's stimulus failure

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America's elected representatives have failed America.

Why it matters: The bipartisan inability to deliver economic stimulus could impede economic growth for months to come. It will create widespread damage across America — from small businesses to large industries to schools and day cares — and leave many Americans without jobs or homes.

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