German anti-trust watchdog clamps down on Facebook's data gathering

BONN, Germany, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Germany's antitrust watchdog on Thursday announced a crackdown on Facebook's data collection practices after ruling the world's largest social network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their knowledge or consent.

Facebook said it would appeal the landmark ruling by the Federal Cartel Office, the culmination of a three-year probe, saying the watchdog underestimated the competition it faced and undermined Europe-wide privacy rules that took effect last year. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine, Editing by Tassilo Hummel)