German regulator sets crosshairs on Google - Mobile World Live

German regulator sets crosshairs on Google

05 JAN 2022

Germany’s competition authority warned Google parent Alphabet it was now able to take action against the company’s practices across a range of areas after declaring it fell under an extended remit to control the actions of large digital players.

In a statement, the Bundeskartellamt indicated following a probe into Alphabet and subsidiary Google, the two were subject to extended abuse controls added to Germany’s competition laws in 2021.

The regulator added as a result it had already extended an assessment of the company’s use of personal data and showcase of news.

To fall under the rules businesses must be determined to have “paramount significance across markets”, with the authority pointing to Google’s dominant position across search alongside significant strength in other areas through Android, YouTube and advertising services.

“The company has an economic position of power which gives rise to a scope of action across markets that is insufficiently controlled by competition”, indicating it could reap a competitive advantage from data derived from across its services.

Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt said it was now able to “take action against specific anticompetitive practices by Google,” adding the authority had “already started to look into Google’s processing of personal data and to deal with the Google News Showcase issue in more detail. At the same time, we are vigorously conducting other proceedings against Amazon, Apple and Meta, formerly Facebook”.

The move is the latest by a regulator in Europe to place the activities of Google and its peers under the microscope, with the European Commission and the UK among those assessing US tech giants.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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