Apple and Google fined $11 million apiece by Italy over violation of consumer code

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Both Apple and Google have been fined by Italy’s competition and market authority [AGCM] for violating the country’s consumer code. Apple and Google were both fined over $11 million apiece by the regulators.

The two tech behemoths incurred the fine for not providing their users with clear enough information on commercial uses of their data. This, according to the regulatory body, violates Italy’s consumer code.

The AGCM also accuses the two American companies of deploying “aggressive” practices to push users to accept the commercial processing. Google and Apple according to TechCrunch, have both said they will appeal the fine.

The AGCM accused Google of omitting vital information at the account creation phase. The regulators said the search engine giant should be providing relevant information to consumers. This, according to the AGCM, will help them decide whether to consent to its use of their data for commercial purposes.

Apple on its part, is accused of failing to immediately provide users with clear information on how consumers’ information is being used commercially when they create an Apple ID or access its digital stores.

Last September, Google found itself on the wrong side of India’s antitrust watchdog based on the outcome of a probe. The Android OS maker, according to the probe, was said to have abused its Android dominant position in India. This, according to the probe, illegally hurts competitors in the market.

According to the probe, Google reduced device manufacturing companies’ ability and incentive to develop and sell devices that run alternative versions of Android. Citing two people familiar with the report, TechCrunch reports that Google’s requirement that makes it mandatory for device manufacturers to pre-install its apps violate India’s competition law.  

In response, Google said it hopes to meet with the CCI to demonstrate how “Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”

When it comes to antitrust, India is a familiar ground for Google—the company is not new to the law book being thrown at it. In 2020, a new charge was brought against the search engine giant in the smart TV market.

Allegations of serious abuse of dominance in the smart TV market was brought against Google. The tech giant was accused of allegedly abusing its Android OS’ position in the smart TV market.

The Competition Commission of India, according to Reuters, has been looking into allegations of Google engaging in anti-competitive practices since June. The source says the company has been creating hurdles for firms wanting to use or develop modified versions of Android for smart TVs.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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