Facebook’s fight against German regulators was dealt a blow Tuesday after a top court agreed with antitrust authorities that the company was abusing its dominant market position in its use of users' data to better target ads.
The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, last year determined Facebook was exploiting its dominance in social media to force users to share data from other Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as third-party websites through the "Like” and "Share” buttons.
It gave Facebook several months to stop collecting data and combining it with Facebook users’ accounts without their consent.
Facebook appealed that decision and a Duesseldorf court ruled it did not have to comply with the regulations until the case had been decided.
Facebook said the decision would not mean any immediate changes for people or businesses who use its products and services in Germany. It noted the main appeal is still pending.
"Today’s decision relates to the preliminary proceedings on the court’s stay order," the company said in a statement to The Associated Press. "The main proceedings, before the court of appeals, are ongoing and we will continue to defend our position that there is no antitrust abuse.”