Google, Apple fined $11.2 million each for failure to disclose how they collect and use users’ data
Early this week, Italy’s antitrust regulator fined Amazon and Apple a total of more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products. The Italian watchdog said the contractual provisions of a 2018 agreement between the companies were set up in such a way that only selected resellers were allowed to sell the two products on Amazon.
Fast forward three days later, Italy’s antitrust regulator has handed another hefty fine on Apple and Google 10 million euros ($11.2 million) each for what it described as “aggressive practices” linked to the commercial use of user data. The fine is the maximum amount the watchdog can apply in these cases, the watchdog said.
The watchdog said the two tech giants did not provide “clear and immediate information” on how they collect and use the data of those who access their services, according to a report from Reuters, citing a statement from the Italian watchdog.
In a statement, Google said it followed “fair and transparent practices to provide users with useful services, as well as provide clear information on their use.”Both tech giants said they disagreed with the antitrust’s ruling and that they would appeal it.
The watchdog also added that when users set up their accounts with Google, the system was designed in such a way that the terms and conditions on data usage were set up to be accepted. As for Apple, the antitrust regulator added that users do not have a choice on the issue.
“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,” Apple said in a statement, describing the regulator’s view as “wrong”.
Meanwhile, This is the second time Google has been fined this month. As we reported on November 10, Google was fined $2.8 billion after losing an appeal that it used its price comparison shopping service to gain an unfair advantage over smaller European rivals.