Facebook: Next Stop Europe

By: Rupprecht Podszun (D’Kart)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court on Wednesday added a new twist to the Bundeskartellamt vs. Facebook saga: The case is going to Luxembourg to the European Court of Justice. Meanwhile, as of today, 24 March 2021, it remains open whether the Bundeskartellamt will have Facebook’s implementation plan submitted to it in the meantime. Rupprecht Podszun was at the hearing in the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court for D’Kart.

As I stumbled out of the Higher Regional Court, out into the open, the sun was shining, I briefly took off my mask for a breath of fresh air, the Rhine was rolling with some momentum towards the North Sea – I met a well-known Düsseldorf antitrust lawyer whom I had not seen in the courtroom. Put the mask back on. Oh, he was with the beer cartel. True, that was running in parallel to the most exciting, most spectacular, most important antitrust case of the last few years, decades. (And if you forget about the beer cartel, which is quite juicy, that’s saying something).

The lawyer asked briefly how it went before he had to rush on and I said: The Facebook case is going to the ECJ. The expression on his face was priceless. It virtually summed up everything that had unfolded in terms of emotionality, irritation, enormous intellectual effort, theatricality and, ultimately, perplexity over several hours in Room A01 in the basement of the Düsseldorf Oberlandesgericht (OLG), the Higher Regional Court….