Earlier this year, the French Competition Authority (“FCA“) published the results of its 2-year inquiry into the online advertising sector, identifying competition concerns in the sector. The inquiry concluded that two major global players hold “overwhelming” market power and generated almost 90% of the online advertising industry’s growth in 2017.
The head of the FCA, Isabelle de Silva, has now confirmed that the FCA will be launching a probe into the collection of data by companies and whether such data were accessible by others. She declined to name the companies under investigation, although has explained that the focus will be on companies that are defined by their access to and use of data.
Regardless of the subjects of the new investigation, its very existence highlights an increasing trend of regulatory scrutiny with respect to data. In a year that has seen a significant focus on personal data and privacy as a result of the implementation of the GDPR across Europe, this latest investigation shows that it is not just the data privacy regulators who are interested in the impact that data has.