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Google Faces Antitrust Investigation In Germany Over Data Processing

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According to Android Central, the German antitrust watchdog investigates Google branches in Germany, Ireland, and the parent company Alphabet. The reasons for this investigation are data processing and market competition terms.

The Germany Federal Cartel Office, known as Bundeskartellamt, wants to see how the data collected by Google is processed. Also, how the company uses this massive amount of data.

According to Bundeskartellamt, “the extent to which the terms provide Google with an opportunity to process data on an extensive cross-service basis” will be examined. Moreover, they want to know how Google applies these terms over processing the data collected from third-party apps and websites.

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“An ecosystem which extends across various markets may be an indication that a company holds such a market position. It is often very difficult for other companies to challenge this position of power.” President of the Bundeskartellamt Andreas Mundt noted in his statement. “Due to the large number of digital services offered by Google, such as the Google search engine, YouTube, Google Maps, the Android operating system or the Chrome browser, the company could be considered to be of paramount significance for competition across markets.”

This is not the first time that country regulators have accused Google of pursuing anti-competitive policies. Google has faced similar cases in the United States and China. Recently, Google had to make a deal with French publishers over the rights of using their content.

German antitrust watchdog wants to protect competition and data

Google has consistently denied allegations of anti-competitive policies. The company said in a statement to Android Central: “People choose Google because it’s helpful, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives. Consumers in Germany have enormous choice online, and we give people simple controls to manage their information and limit the use of personal data. We will cooperate fully with the German Competition Authority and look forward to answering their questions.”

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Germany has recently passed laws to protect market competition. Under the new rules, the Bundeskartellamt can take action against companies with anti-competitive policies. Also, there will also be more oversight of corporate competition policies.

Of course, Google is not the only company to be monitored by the new law in Germany. Facebook and Amazon have experienced similar cases in Germany before. German authorities previously banned Facebook from collecting data from third-party websites without users’ permission. The European Court of Justice is investigating the case.