Thursday, July 29, 2021

Facebook Scores Legal Victories

Facebook is celebrating twin legal victories this week. In the U.S., the District Court in New York threw out investor-brought lawsuits related to Facebook’s IPO. And in Germany, the court ruled that the social network can keep its real names policy.

Computerworld’s Zach Miners reported, “Facebook scored an initial legal victory in its IPO case following a federal judge’s dismissal of a group of investor lawsuits filed against the company. More than 30 lawsuits were filed against Facebook after it went public last May, alleging that the company shared business information with analysts who then shared the information with large institutional investors without disclosing it to the wider investing public. Facebook, however, did make ‘extensive warnings’ in its registration statement, drafts of the registration statement and in its final IPO documents about the health of its business tied to mobile trends, according to a ruling filed Wednesday in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York.”

TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler noted, “The company’s shares have never recovered to the initial $38 price that the company sold stock at on its May 18 debut. The IPO, which raised about $16 billion for the company and early shareholders, was the most anticipated one since Google in 2004.”

And according to the AP, “Facebook has won a court battle against a German privacy watchdog that challenged the social networking site’s policy requiring users to register with their real names. Schleswig-Holstein state’s data protection body said Friday it will appeal the court decision. It argues the ban on fake names breaches German privacy laws and European rules designed to protect free speech online. The administrative court in northern German Schleswig argued in its ruling Thursday that German privacy laws weren’t applicable because Facebook has its European headquarters in Ireland — which has less far-reaching rules.”

Bloomberg’s Karin Matussek noted, “European rules say German law doesn’t apply if the data is processed by a branch in another EU member state, the court said. Facebook’s German unit only works in marketing and sales and thus can’t trigger the application of German data protection law, the judges said.”

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