European Union antitrust regulators say they are investigating Google's data collection

Andrew Cummings
December 3, 2019

The body told Reuters it started preliminary investigations into how both companies handle data.

The Commission declined to comment on the questionnaire and it was unclear which companies were canvassed.

The new investigation comes just a few months after the European Union imposed a record fine on the company for its alleged "abusive" online advertising practices. This is also not a first time for such a Google investigation either. The document seen by Reuters showed it was looking into data relating to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and more.

Moreover, they also wanted to know the details of the contracts that allowed companies access to Facebook's API and what was the overall impact on the companies if they couldn't use the data.

"For a data intensive companies like Facebook we would urge regulators and legislators not to be trapped by analog parallels which don't apply to the digital world", he said. It wouldn't be shocking if the Commission found issues with Google's data gathering methods, especially when national regulators have already fined Google for reported GDPR violations.

At the state level, Google is being investigated by a partnership of 48 USA states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, over the company's practices.

Google said its measures had proved effective and were sending traffic to third-party merchants. Politicians, including President Donald Trump, as well as consumers, firms, and regulators, have criticized that power.

"These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetised including for advertising purposes", she added. The company further stated that it gives complete control of data to the people and will continue to participate in the discussions with the Commission and others for the benefit of the industry. The search engine giant said it was reviewing the allegations.

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