EMEA Daily: Meta to Face Strict Online Rules in UK; PriceRunner Hauls Google to Swedish Court Seeking $2.4B in Damages

Pricerunner, google, price compasison, search, Sweden, lawsuit

In today’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) news, if Meta thinks it can avoid tough new rules in the U.K., the social media giant should reconsider; Nordic price comparison firm PriceRunner is hauling Google to Sweden’s patent and market court seeking $2.4 billion in damages.

Plus, PYMNTS data reveals 39% of eCommerce shoppers in three countries are initiating more disputes than they did before the pandemic. BARQ, the Delivery-as-a-Service startup, raised $4 million in its latest funding round, and French retailer Dolce & Gabbana has launched a beauty division.

Metaverse to Face Strict Online Rules in UK

If Meta, Facebook’s parent, thinks it can avoid stringent new rules in the U.K., the social media giant should think again.

The company’s metaverse could face strict regulations, making Meta and the other tech giants behind virtual worlds possibly subject to billions in fines.

PriceRunner Hauls Google to Swedish Court Seeking $2.4B in Damages

Nordic price comparison firm PriceRunner is hauling Google to Sweden’s patent and market court seeking $2.4 billion in damages for violating antitrust laws by manipulating search.

PriceRunner alleges that the company lost profits due to the Alphabet subsidiary’s anti-competitive behavior in the U.K. since 2008 in Sweden and 2013 in Denmark.

Love Connection: Bumble Acquires Dating App Fruitz

Bumble Inc. has acquired Fruitz, one of the fastest growing dating platforms in Europe, the Texas- and Paris-based company announced Monday (Feb. 7).

Launched in 2017, Fruitz said it has seen rapid growth in Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. The growth has been especially among Generation Z, or those born between 1997 and 2012.

UK Merchants Must Adopt a More Aggressive Stance in the Fight Against Rising Chargebacks

The pandemic has given eCommerce adoption an unprecedented boost these past two years. But alongside the surge in online shopping and increase in customers worldwide, it’s an uphill battle merchants are facing to mitigate the unexpected rise in transaction disputes and chargebacks.

Data from PYMNTS shows that 39% of eCommerce shoppers in three countries — Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — say they are initiating more disputes today than they did before March 2020.

Saudi Delivery-as-a-Service Company BARQ Raises $4M

BARQ, a Delivery-as-a-Service (DaaS) startup, has raised $4 million in its latest funding round.

Founded two years ago by Abdullah AlShalhoub and Ahmad Habbal, the Saudi Arabia-based company said it plans to use the cash to expand the company’s geographic footprint across the region and boost its product offering to provide a wider range of values to its customers.

UK VC Firm SuperSeed Raises $41M

U.K. venture capital firm SuperSeed has wrapped the first closing of its fund at 31 million pounds ($41 million) targeting a final close of 50 million pounds ($67 million).

The company said the fund will invest in 30 to 35 startups, focusing on firms based in the U.K. or hoping to use the U.K. as a springboard to expand worldwide.

Transtura Acquires FinTech Startup WazoMoney

Nigerian ride-hailing and shared mobility startup Transtura on Monday (Feb. 7) finalized the acquisition of FinTech payments startup WazoMoney as part of a plan to create payment and marketplace solutions for the mobility sector across Africa, Business Insider Africa reported.

Initiatives Advance French Retailer Carrefour’s Billion-Dollar Digital Expansion Strategy

French retail giant Carrefour has announced a series of digital initiatives across its European markets, making good on its recent pledge to increase digital investments by about 50% between 2022 and 2026, the equivalent of 3 billion euros (about $3.5 billion).

Porsche Enlists Developers to Find New Use Cases for Connected Cars’ Data

Connected car data can be used to make many tasks easier. Keeping a logbook of vehicle mileage for business purposes, evaluating the extent and cost of damage after a collision, and allowing drivers to control the information that is monitored by their insurance company are problems that have been time-consuming, prone to errors and lacking in transparency.

Seeking new use cases for the vast amount of data that is generated by connected cars, and solving common problems faced by drivers, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) is hosting a contest open to developer teams from other companies, the automaker announced.

Dolce & Gabbana to Manage Wholesale Beauty Business in-House

Dolce & Gabbana is launching a beauty division as part of its plan to bring the company’s 30-year-old $544 million wholesale beauty business in-house and diversify its revenue beyond fashion.

D&G’s beauty division will take over development, manufacturing and distribution of its fragrance and makeup products from Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido as part of the restructuring.

CRM Software Maker Remberg Closes $12.6M Series A

Remberg, a Munich-based customer relationship management (CRM) software maker, has raised 11 million euros ($12.58 million) in Series A financing, the startup announced.

The company said it plans to use the money to further expand sales, product and engineering.

Bank of England Takes the Slow Lane for CBDCs, and It is Not the Only One

The Bank of England, like many other central banks, is still weighing the possibility of issuing a central bank digital currency. If it decides to proceed, it must determine how the design should respect citizens’ privacy and guarantee financial stability.

Earlier this year, the U.K. Parliament published a paper assessing the benefits of having a CBDC against the risks that a retail CBDC would pose, especially on the issues mentioned above: privacy and financial stability.