Categories: Regulation

Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Facebook Backs Data Portability Law, Amazon Considers Registering Services As Separate Entities In India

Here’s the latest news from Facebook, Amazon and others, which are coming under increasing scrutiny from regulators, trade groups and politicians the world over.

Regulations

Facebook Supports Data-Portability Law

Facebook has advocated for a law that would simplify the process of moving videos and pictures to a competing site. The support comes before a planned Sept. 22 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hearing on the matter, Reuters reported.

The social media company has indicated that the Access Act, a proposed data portability law, is a first move in the right direction. Facebook first let American and Canadian users move their videos and pictures to Google Photos in April.

Data portability has turned into an important portion of the antitrust discussion domestically and in Europe.

Taxes

Amazon Mulls Registering Services as Separate Entities in India

Amazon is reportedly considering registering a portion of its entities, like Amazon Music, Audible and Prime Video, in India, CNBC TV18 reported. The services are not currently registered as distinct entities, although they are provided to users in the nation.

The news comes as a new Indian equalization measure came into existence in 2020 that puts a 2 percent tax on every digital transaction that foreign online shopping firms conduct. The eCommerce retailer has reportedly registered many entities in the country in recent times.

Fines

Facebook Receives Green Light to Settle Facial-Recognition Lawsuit for $650M

Facebook received the preliminary green light by a federal court to settle a lawsuit that alleged that the social media company violated an Illinois state law by harvesting and keeping biometric information on millions of users without their permission, Reuters reported.

The social media firm purportedly contravened an Illinois state law via a “Tag Suggestions” functionality that enabled users to identify their friends from photos put on the platform in the past.

In July, Facebook had bolstered its settlement offer to $650 million in the case, up from a previous $550 million.

News

German Gov’t Looks Into Amazon’s Use of Its Market Position Amid Pandemic

The German government is probing Amazon for purportedly taking advantage of its market position amid the pandemic, CNBC reported.

The network said the German Federal Cartel Office is spearheading an investigation into the retailer’s relationship with third-party merchants. The case comes as Amazon blocked some merchants for purportedly raising their prices early on during the pandemic.

Many instances of third-party merchants hiking the cost of products, such as masks and hand sanitizer, reportedly took place.

RILA Joins Trade Groups in Tackling Counterfeit Merchandise

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has teamed with other trade organizations to create The Buy Safe America Coalition to tackle counterfeit merchandise on eCommerce sites like Amazon, Reuters reported. The American Apparel & Footwear Association and the Toy Association, among other organizations, are also part of the group.

The coalition will support laws that would mandate that marketplaces validate data regarding third-party sellers.

Facebook Calls Out Apple For 30 Pct Commission on In-App Purchases

Facebook is now among the firms publicly criticizing the 30 percent commission Apple charges for in-app payments, with the social media firm calling out Apple in a statement announcing that it would not receive any fees from paid digital events for the next year at a minimum.

“We asked Apple to reduce its 30 percent App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19,” Facebook said in a post. “Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70 percent of their hard-earned revenue.”

Small companies will retain all of the revenue they bring in from paid digital events for transactions on the web and on Android in nations where it has rolled out Facebook Pay.

News Companies Ask for Better Terms on Apple’s App Store

Digital Content Next (DCN) CEO Jason Kint wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask what conditions its members would have to satisfy to “qualify for the arrangement Amazon is receiving for its Amazon Prime Video app in the Apple App Store.”

DCN, a trade organization, serves media brands. Its members include The New York Times and National Geographic, among others.

Kint noted that Cook responded “affirmatively” in July 29 remarks before the House Judiciary Committee that the arrangement afforded to Amazon is available to “anyone meeting the conditions.”

“I ask that you clearly define the conditions that Amazon satisfied for its arrangement so that DCN’s member companies meeting those conditions can be offered the same agreement,” Kint wrote in the letter.

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