The Strategist

Germany launches antitrust investigation against Google

05/26/2021 - 03:46

The German Federal Antitrust Authority has announced the launch of two investigations into Google.

The agency is probing the company's possible abuse of its dominant position in several related markets as well as its terms of service for user data. The investigations include Google's German and Irish divisions, as well as its parent corporation Alphabet.

The agency said that the first investigation is simply to assess Google's influence in the German market to begin with. 

"The starting point for this company's position is an ecosystem covering different markets... Because of the wide range of digital services such as search engine, YouTube, maps and the Android operating system or Chrome browser, in the case of Google one has to take into account its huge importance for competition in related markets," said Andreas Mundt, head of the German competition authority. 

The second investigation is into Google's practices regarding user data and whether it gives users sufficient control over how their data is used.

Last week, the agency launched a similar investigation into Amazon, also examining whether it is abusing its dominant market position. Facebook has also been at the centre of similar investigations in Germany several times.