According to Reuters, the European Commission and European antitrust authorities are conducting a “preliminary investigation” regarding Google data collection methods.Therefore, the European antitrust monitors again tackle the search giant.
“Competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are now looking into how dominant tech companies use and monetise data. The EU executive said it was seeking information on how and why Alphabet unit Google is collecting data”, — write Reuters journalists.
The document, which was at the disposal of the news agency, did not contain much information about it, but from its content became clear that the main attention was paid to local search, advertising (including ad targeting), authorization services, web browsers and other areas of the company’s activities. In other words, the investigation covers almost the entire core business of Google.
“As part of a preliminary investigation, the European Commission has sent Google list of questions about the collection and usage of data. A preliminary investigation is ongoing”, – said representatives of the European Commission.
The search giant previously stated that it uses data to improve its services and provides users with personal information management tools, including the option to delete all data.
The new investigation does not mean at all that the EU would open another antitrust case against Google. Prior to this, the European Commission issued on the company fines in the total amount of more than 8 billion euros for various violations of antitrust laws.
No one will be surprised if this time the European Commission discovers problems related to Google’s data collection methods, especially when regulators from certain European countries have already fined Google for violating GDPR.
- In 2017, the European Commission found Google guilty of manipulating search results to promote its own Internet services and imposed a fine of € 2.42 billion. Then, in 2018, the European Commission fined Google for a record amount of € 4.34 billion for abuse of Android’s dominant position. Both fines Google now appeals in the European Court of General jurisdiction.
- In 2019, Google was fined in Europe for € 1.49 billion for blocking competing advertisers.
- Antitrust investigations against Google are also ongoing in the United States, India, and Italy.
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