EU launches new competition investigation into Google data policy

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The European Union’s antitrust authorities have once again started an investigation into Google. The case comprises an investigation into the collection of data by the Internet giant.

Earlier, the EU had already imposed a huge fine on the company because their policy on online advertising had not been according to European law. According to the European Commission, the fine of 1.4 billion dollars (approximately 1.543 billion euros) that Google was fined was a reaction to the abuse of Google’s dominance on the advertising market. Competitors in the market were allegedly prevented from placing advertisements on certain websites.

Reuters reports that the European Commission is currently looking for information on how Google collects and uses data from users. This would mainly concern local search, advertising and browser services offered by Google. “The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” was the Commission’s statement.

Improvement of services

Google made a statement to the effect that the data in question would only be used to improve services. The company also emphasised that this data may be deleted, transferred or otherwise controlled by users at any time.

Previously, U.S. authorities had also investigated a number of tech giants, including Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. This was an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

At the end of the day, the total amount of fines that Google has had to pay to the EU is now about USD 9 billion, or about EUR 8.172 billion. A previous fine was imposed for anti-competitive policy in regards to the Android operating system.