The German Federal Cartel Office (FCO), the country's national competition regulator, announced Monday that it will take Facebook to the Federal Court of Justice over its data collection practices.

Earlier the same day, a German regional court in the western city of Dusseldorf suspended a February order by the FCO that demanded Facebook rein in its data collection practices in the country.

Andreas Mundt, the head of the FCO, said, "We are convinced that with the available antitrust laws we can take regulatory action."

Facebook also owns Instagram and Whatsapp, with the FCO alleging in February that the company combines user data across the platforms, thus abusing its virtual monopoly in social media. By collecting data this way, the company can gain more power in the market.

At the time, the FCO said that Facebook needs to implement new policies in order to get consent before collecting data on German users. If the company failed to comply, the FCO could perhaps impose fines of 10% on the company's annual turnover.

Facebook said it would appeal against the order by the FCO, saying that it is "trying to implement an unconventional standard for a single company."

Data privacy is a sensitive issue in Germany, partially due to the country's unique history. When Germany was split between the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) during the cold war era, the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) routinely spied on East German citizens and internationally.

This past intrusion into privacy has made Germany concerned about data collection issues, with Google Street View not being available in large swathes of the country.

Facebook was fined $5 billion this year by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over data privacy. In 2018, it was revealed that political data firm Cambridge Analytica had been using Facebook to gather data on millions of Americans without their consent.

In 2018, Facebook had an estimated 23 million daily Facebook users, with 32 million German users monthly.