Repeatedly the target of record fines by the European Competition Commission, Google is once again being investigated by the EU, Reuters has been able to confirm.
An unnamed EU official told Reuters the concern was mainly around Google’s data collection practices.
“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,” the EU regulator said.
The Google antitrust investigation questionnaires focus on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.
Google has already earned more than 8 billion Euro in fines over the last two years, making it difficult for the company to simply write off the fines as the cost of doing business. Google and the EU have already clashed 3 times before.
They were handed down a 1.5 billion Euro fine in March this year for forcing its AdSense customers to sign a contract which in turn handcuffed the customers from doing business with rival search companies.
Prior to this, the company was hit with a total of €6.7 billion(€2.4 billion in 2017 and then €4.34 billion last year for abusing its Android dominance and forcing companies to install their apps).
The EU antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the EU commission is keeping a close eye on Google’s business model.
“We keep getting complaints from people who are concerned about how these markets work, so we will keep doing our job. For me, the most important thing here is to enable user choice.”
Commenting on the new Google antitrust investigation, the company said for its part it uses data to better its services and that users can manage, delete and transfer their data at any time.