Professional Music Rights’ Lawsuit Towards Apple Dismissed, CBI recordsdata case in opposition to Cambridge Analytica, Google asks to maneuver antitrust lawsuit to California and extra.
Pro Music Rights lawsuit against Apple Dismissed, CBI files lawsuit against Cambridge Analytica, Google asks to move antitrust lawsuit to California, and more.
Posted by BananaIP Reporter
Claudalie faces anti-competitive investigations, Pro Music Rights lawsuit against Apple dismissed, lawsuit filed against Cambridge Analytica, data breach reveals 1.9 million Pixlr user records, more than 22 billion records uncovered in data breaches in 2020, Google petitions , Postponing Antitrust Lawsuit California, Trump Apologizes to Google Engineer Stealing Trade Secrets, Amazon Denies EU Approval for Separate Antitrust Sales Review, Parler’s Request for Reinstatement at Amazon Denied, SoftBank’s Sale of NVIDIA Raises Antitrust and National Security Concerns, and Tesla Sues Employees Over Alleged Theft of trade secrets.
Claudalie faces anti-competitive probes
The French skin care brand Caudalie is the focus of an investigation by the Belgian competition authority (BCA). A Belgian shopkeeper filed a complaint that his supplier had enforced a strict pricing policy when subsequently selling Caudalie products. According to the BCA, the minimum resale price requirement that the company has imposed on its distributors is in breach of the Economic Code and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits agreements aimed at “restricting, preventing or distorting competition . “
This is not the first time Caudalie has come under the control of the competition authorities. In 2013, eNova, the operator of the online platform 1001pharmacies.com, alleged that Caudalie’s selective distribution agreements, which banned the sale of its products on third-party platforms such as eNova or Amazon, violated EU competition law that prohibits such bans prohibits unless you can be objectively justified.
The Paris Court of Appeal actually held the ban on selective distribution agreements to be valid. The court reiterated that luxury brands can restrict sales of their goods on third-party online platforms through selective distribution systems in order to preserve the quality of their products.
Pro Music Rights lawsuit against Apple dismissed
In March 2020, Pro Music Rights (PMR), together with Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon and many others, closed a case against Apple for alleged collusion. The allegation was that the defendants entered into an illegal agreement to ban PMR from the market and to set prices at anti-competitive levels. By October 2020, however, PMR had come to terms with Napster, iHeartMedia and Connoisseur Media. A district judge has dismissed the lawsuit and the reasons seem unclear.
PMR had previously filed a $ 1 billion complaint against Spotify. It was alleged that Spotify removed titles “for anti-competitive reasons” and not paid royalties for 550 million streams. Spotify had sternly denied the allegation and recently started negotiations to settle the matter in court.
CBI files lawsuit against Cambridge Analytica
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a lawsuit against Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research Ltd for “illegally harvesting personal data from Facebook users.” Facebook had authorized the Global Science Research app to collect certain data sets from its users for research and academic purposes.
CBI officials said their preliminary investigation revealed that Global Science Research Ltd, UK, had dishonestly and fraudulently accessed data from This is Your Digital Life app users and their Facebook friends. The investigation began in 2018 after Facebook alleged that the data of approximately 87 million Facebook users could have been misused by Cambridge Analytica. This included five lakh Indian users whose accounts had also been compromised.
1.9 million Pixlr user records are being displayed due to data breach
Hacker ShinyHunters published 1.9 million Pixlr user records on the dark web. These include email addresses, login names, SHA-512 hash passwords, a user’s country, and other sensitive information that can be used to conduct targeted phishing and login information. The hacker claimed they stole the database during their 123rf violation in November where they stole 8.3 million user records, including phone numbers, addresses, PayPal emails, and IP addresses. These violations indicate a trend in which cyber criminals are actively targeting organizations to monetize data.
More than 22 billion records were exposed in data breaches in 2020
A report from Tenable’s Security Response Team (SRT) indicated that over 22 billion records were disclosed in 730 publicly reported data breaches worldwide in 2020. 35 percent of security breaches were attributed to ransomware attacks, and 14 percent of security breaches were the result of email compromises. One of the overarching issues was that bad actors relied on unpatched vulnerabilities and chained several vulnerabilities together as part of their attacks. From 2015 to 2020, the number of reported common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) increased by 36.6 percent. Web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge are the main target for zero-day vulnerabilities.
Google is asking to move the antitrust case to California
Texas and nine other states have filed lawsuits against Google in Texas, accusing the company of partnering with Facebook Inc. in a manner that violates antitrust laws. Google has moved to move the case to California because the state has the necessary witnesses and documents. Google also noted that the state’s lawsuit “does not identify a single company or person who could witness a lawsuit and live or work within 100 miles of Texas.”
Google has been sued three times by US states and the Justice Department since October 2020. In December, a separate group of 38 US states and territories filed their own antitrust complaint against Google.
Trump apologizes to Google engineer who stole trade secrets
President Donald Trump pardoned a former Google engineer, Anthony Levandowski, who stole trade secrets related to robotic vehicles and started his own Otto company. Otto was later acquired by Uber for USD 680 million. Levandowski had downloaded a plethora of Google’s self-driving car technology, leading to 33 intellectual property theft cases against him for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
More than 140 people had been pardoned in the last hours of his tenure in a barrage of mercy acts by the former president.
Amazon rejects EU approval for separate anti-trust sales review
Amazon asked the General Court of the European Union to cancel part of a European Commission decision that allowed Italy to conduct a parallel investigation into advertising issues by the e-commerce giant. The EU is investigating Amazon’s mechanisms for selecting retailers for their “buy box” on sites that attract approximately 80% of sales. Amazon stated that the EU should not have approved a similar Italian investigation to proceed alongside the EU because “(w) if the European Commission decides to investigate a matter, European law says that national competition authorities will not investigate the same issue can”.
Parler’s request for reinstatement on Amazon rejected
Judge Barbara Rothstein denied the issuance of an injunction for Parler to reinstate on Amazon Web Services. The judge pointed to the lack of evidence and the fact that Parler had not denied that its users posted violent, detailed threats on the platform prior to and around the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in support of the verdict to reach. Parler was removed by most of the major web infrastructure companies, including Apple and Google, following the said attack. The social media site sued Amazon in retaliation.
SoftBank’s sale of NVIDIA raises antitrust and national security concerns
SoftBank’s $ 40 billion deal to sell British chip designer Arm to US chip maker Nvidia raises antitrust and national security concerns among policymakers around the world. The company requires regulatory approvals in the UK, China, the European Union and the US, which can take 18 months to complete.
Arm is the world’s leading provider of intellectual property for semiconductors and has licensed its technology to a wide range of semiconductor companies. Nividia competes directly with Arm customers such as Qualcomm, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, MediaTek and Samsung Electronics. The acquisition raises concerns that it would distort competition between downstream players who buy technology licenses from Arm.
Tesla is suing employees for allegedly stealing trade secrets
Tesla has filed a trade secret theft complaint alleging former employee Alex Khatilov stole more than 6,000 code files that automate a wide range of business functions. Tesla has claimed that the files found in Khatilov’s personal storage would enable engineers from other companies to reverse engineer Tesla’s processes. The US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers allowed an injunction, according to which Khatilov must immediately keep all files, records and emails and return them to the company.
The automaker has filed a number of lawsuits against other former employees and rival companies allegedly poaching engineers and stealing proprietary data.
Written and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Srinjayee Gupta (Legal Intern)
The News Bulletin on IP, Privacy and Antitrust Law is brought to you by the Consulting / Strategy Division of BananaIP Counsels, a leading IP firm in India. If you have any questions or need explanations, please write to [email protected] with the topic: IP, data protection and antitrust news.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin was compiled from a variety of primary and secondary sources and BananaIP reporters may not have reviewed all of the news published in the bulletin. You can write to [email protected] for corrections and weight loss.