EU antitrust regulators are seeking details of Google’s data collection, according to newly disclosed documents. The move could suggest that the world’s most popular internet search engine may face more regulatory scrutiny. The European Union’s executive committee has fined Google more than 8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in the past two years and ordered it to change its business practices.
Previous investigations have shown that the company abused its dominant position. Last week, the European Union’s anti-competitive enforcement agency sent questionnaires to several companies asking them questions about Google’s data collection practices and giving them a month to respond.
The survey focused on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers, and more. Some companies were asked about agreements in recent years to provide google with data or allow it to collect data through its services, and whether they were compensated for it.
Regulators also want to know what kind of data Google is looking for, how it uses it, and how valuable the companies think it is. Another question is whether Google and these companies are bound by the terms of the contract that prohibit or restrict the use of data. Regulators also want to know whether Google refused to provide the data and how this would affect the company.
The European Commission declined to comment on the questionnaire, and it was unclear which companies were under investigation. “We use data to make our services more useful and display relevant advertising, and we give people controls to manage, delete, or transfer their data,” Google said in an email. We will continue to engage with the Committee and others on these important discussions in our industry. “