EU competition watchdog has started probe on the benefits by the large amounts of data that the US Internet companies Google and Facebook collects. To what extent do the two companies collect their data? Does this restrict the competition? How valuable are surveys on the internet?
As the data volumes of Google and Facebook unfairly affect their competitors, the European Commission is investigating according to a report by the Financial Times. In the case of Google, the Commission has sent a detailed questionnaire to competitors: how the American company collects data and earns money. As a result, companies have until 7 January to respond.
“Data volumes of Google and Facebook unfairly affect their competitors”
According to Richard Stables, head of the price comparison website Kelkoo, he believes that the Commission does not know how extensive Google’s data collection via the Internet is and would be shocked by a scary amount of data.
The European Commission has announced that it will examine how and why Google collects data. “The Commission has sent questionnaires to Google as part of a preliminary investigation into the collection and use of data by Google. The preliminary investigation is still ongoing, “said the EU regulator, according to news agency Reuters. The focus will be on data related to local search services, online advertising, sign-in services, web browsers and other topics.
Similar to Google, competitors from Facebook also get questions about the behavior of the social network. Here, the European Commission is trying to understand how the social network collects data online. Facebook business partners and competitors are asked why they share data with Facebook and how significant is the data.
“41 lawsuits on Google and its shopping offering have been written”
The competitors often complain about American Internet corporations. In a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has also been acting Vice President and Commissioner for Digital since December, 41 lawsuits on Google and its shopping offering have just been written.
The authors of the letter, which includes the German offer Idealo, Billiger.de or Ladenzeile.de, demand that “Google finally put in the barriers” because the company continues to abuse its market power in the field of product search and price comparison.
Google uses personal information to improve its services. Users could manage, delete and transfer their data at any time.