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The Secretariat of Domestic Commerce orders the precautionary suspension of the update of WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy in Argentina while the investigation for possible antitrust conduct continues

Through Resolution 492/2021 (Dated 17 may 2021), the Secretariat of Domestic Commerce (hereinafter “SDC”) ordered the Argentine subsidiary of FACEBOOK INC. and/or FACEBOOK IRELAND LIMITED and/or WHATSAPP INC. and/or WHATSAPP LCC and/or WHATSAPP IRELAND LIMITED to refrain from implementing and/or suspend the update of terms of service and privacy policy of the WhatsApp application in Argentina, for a period of 180 days or until the investigation being carried out by the Secretariat previously mentioned concludes, whichever comes first, in accordance with the provisions of Section 44 of Law No. 27,442 – which enables the enforcement authority to order certain precautionary measures, with the purpose of avoiding or reducing an injury to the antitrust regime-.

It is worth mentioning that on 13th May 2021 the SDC instructed the National Commission of the Antitrust Authority to open an ex officio proceeding to investigate the new conditions imposed to users by the above-mentioned companies, since, together with other practices of companies of the economic group, they could constitute an anti-trust conduct of abuse of dominant position according to Antitrust Regime, Law No. 27,442.

Likewise, it also ordered the aforementioned subsidiaries to refrain from exchanging data in the sense allowed by the new terms of service and privacy policies, even in cases where users had accepted such update; and to communicate to its users, through the WhatsApp application or through the company’s official website, the full text of the decision adopted by the corresponding authority.

All of it, under the legal warning of imposing sanctions.

Access the full text of the resolution in Spanish here.

For further information, don’t hesitate to contact:

Agustín Siboldi