Google – Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – has been fined by Italy’s antitrust regulator over “aggressive practices” linked to user data’s commercial usage. The ruling comes after the General Court of the European Union upheld a $2 billion fine earlier in November.
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According to Reuters, Google did not provide clear and immediate information on how it collects and uses the data of people using its services. Google said it disagreed with the ruling and that it would appeal.
In detail, the regulator said that “when users set up their account with Google, the system was designed in such a way that the terms and conditions on data usage were set up to be accepted.”
Google said in a statement that it had followed “fair and transparent practices to provide users with useful services, as well as provide clear information on their use.” In these cases, $11.2 million is the maximum applicable amount.
Google was not the only company punished by the Italian antitrust regulator. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the subject of the same fine on the same grounds, as the California giant did not give users an option to reject the terms and conditions.
Apple went on to say in a statement that the regulators' view was “wrong” and also added: “We provide industry-leading transparency and control to all users, so they can choose what information to share or not, and how it's used.”
The case against Google is rooted in the fact that the firm bases its economic activity on the offer of a wide range of products and services connected to the internet. It is also based on the elaboration of user profiles and it is carried out thanks to collected data.
Earlier in November, the General Court of the European Union upheld a $2 billion fine on Google imposed by the European Commission in 2017 for monopolistic practices.
The community executive concluded that the famous search engine privileged its own products over those of its competitors. The judges said the internet giant “favors its own price comparison service in the general results sample with a more favorable position and visualization, while relegating the same services of the competition.”
Google is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.