Italian competition authority questions Google about data portability

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The Google logo is seen during the gathering of startups and high-tech leaders, Viva Tech, in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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MILAN, July 14 (Reuters) – Italian competition authority AGCM said on Thursday it had opened an investigation against Google (GOOGL.O) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in data portability, a charge denied by the unit. Alphabet.

The watchdog said in a statement that Google has impeded interoperability with other platforms, including with Weople, an app from Italian operator Hoda, which could “constrain the economic benefits that consumers can derive from their data. ” and limit competition.

The competition regulator on Wednesday carried out inspections at Google’s premises with the Italian finance police, it said in a statement.

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Google said it has been giving people the ability to extract and transfer their data for nearly a decade.

“These are tools designed to help people manage their personal information, not to give other companies or intermediaries access to more data to sell,” a spokesperson for the group said in a statement sent. by e-mail.

Giving such access, he said, would “put people’s privacy at risk, as well as encourage fraudulent activity. There are already ways for companies to increase the direct portability of data in their service”.

Under Italian law, Google faces a fine of up to 10% of its annual global sales if it is found guilty of abusing its position.

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(Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Giulia Segreti and Nick Macfie)

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