Apple and Google fined for violating the Consumer Code in Italy

Europe has increasingly cracked down on American big tech in recent months.

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Italy’s competition and market authority (AGCM) has imposed fines of €20 million on Apple and Google late last week, in a second such regulatory action from the towards U.S. tech giants within a week.

In a statement, the antitrust watchdog said that the tech giants were fined for violating the country’s consumer code. Tech giants Apple and Google have been accused of using aggressive practices in order to get users to agree to their personal information being used for commercial purposes.

Apple is accused of failing to immediately provide clear information to users on how their data is used commercially when they create an Apple ID or use the iOS App Store.

While Google is accused of not providing enough information to users while they are using Google services and omitting relevant information during the account creation process. ACGM says that the omitted information is crucial in helping consumers decide whether to consent to their data being used for commercial purposes.

Despite the relatively minor sum, both Apple and Google have announced their intention of appealing the ruling. For Apple, the ruling has the potential to damage its carefully cultivated image as the champion of its user’s privacy.

“We believe the Authority’s view is incorrect and will appeal the decision. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our users, and we do our best to design products and features that protect customer data. We provide industry-leading transparency and control to all users so they can choose what information to share or not, and how it is used,” a spokesperson for the company, told TechCrunch.

In recent months, authorities in Europe have increasingly targeted Big Tech practices that allegedly stifle competition and violate consumer privacy.

Early last week, ACGM had imposed a hefty €200 million fine on Apple and e-commerce giant Amazon for allegedly colluding to restrict certain third-party Apple product sellers from Amazon.

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