According to reports, the German antitrust agency Federal Cartel Office (FCO) announced today that it has decided to implement changes to Google and its parent company Alphabet in accordance with the authority granted by the latest antitrust law. Extensive antitrust investigation.
The Federal Cartel Office stated that the agency is already investigating Google’s use of personal data more intensively, as well as Google’s news service News Showcase. In addition, the Federal Cartel Office is also considering further cases involving Amazon, Apple, and Facebook’s parent company Meta.
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In January last year, the German Bundestag passed an amendment to the Anti-Competition Law (Digital Competition Law 4.0) proposed by the Federal Government. The new regulations strengthen the authority of the Federal Cartel Bureau, which also means that Internet platforms will be subject to stricter supervision.
For a long time, the German antitrust authorities have been paying close attention to Google’s market power and its control over user data. In May last year, the Federal Cartel Office launched an antitrust investigation against Google Germany, Google Ireland, and Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The Federal Cartel Office believes that Google enjoys a strategic advantage from the information it collects. In addition, the Federal Cartel Office also questioned whether users have sufficient choices regarding how Google will use their data.
In June, the Federal Cartel Office launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s news service News Showcase. News Showcase is a news display platform launched by Google in October 2020. It has signed cooperation agreements with nearly 200 publishers around the world.
The Federal Cartel Office said that cooperation with Google may attract publishers and other news providers and provide consumers with better information services. However, it must be ensured that the process does not discriminate against individual publishers.
In addition to Google, the Federal Cartel Bureau is also using the powers granted by the new antitrust law to investigate Facebook and Amazon’s business practices in several digital areas. Previously, the Federal Cartel Office has asked Facebook to stop tracking users outside the Facebook platform, and Facebook has appealed this. In addition, the Federal Cartel Bureau also launched an investigation into Amazon’s potential anti-competitive behavior.