The EU Antitrust Commission and 48 U.S. States are now conducting antitrust investigations into Google's data Collection
In early September the attorneys general of 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia launched an antitrust investigation into the company, promising to examine its dominance in online search, advertising, and the collection of consumer data.
Google’s "overarching control" in these areas has the potential to harm ordinary Americans by “undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, violating [their] privacy, and controlling the flow and exchange of information,” according to a statement by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued in early September.
Nessel added that "Google plays a critical role in our online economy as the biggest and most powerful advertising and search engine Company in the country. It is illegal for a business to use its market power to engage in anticompetitive conduct specifically to protect its status as a virtual monopoly.
Our personal data is the biggest commodity in today’s online economy. When a giant like Google makes 90 percent of its revenue from utilizing our personal data in its advertising business while undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, violating our privacy, and controlling the flow and exchange of information, it is essential that we take a closer look. We will go where the facts lead us to both protect our consumers and to ensure a free and competitive market."
Yesterday a report came to light stating that the EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s collection of data, suggesting the world’s most popular internet search engine remains in its sights despite record fines in recent years.
A document seen by Reuters shows the EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.
Even Apple is being dragged into the Google probe in respect to their deal to have the Google Search engine as Safari's default.
Thus far, the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines totaling more than 8 billion Euros to Google in the last two years and ordered it to change its business practices.
UPDATE - Dec 2, 2019: Reuters added on Monday that EU antitrust regulators are investigating how Facebook collects and monetizes its data, the European Commission said on Monday, opening a second front on top of an existing probe into the social media giant’s online marketplace.
The EU executive said it had sent out questionnaires as part of preliminary investigations into both Facebook and Google’s data.
The move underlines regulators’ concerns regarding the massive amount of data held by tech giants and how they may leverage this to block competitors and expand into new sectors.