The precise parameters of the investigation have not been officially disclosed, but a recently leaked document obtained by Reuters says that it is looking at Google's local search, ads, ad targeting, sign-in services and web browsers.
The concern is that Google is doing the same that it has already been found guilty of - and fined billions of euros by the European Union - in the smartphone, comparison shopping and online advertising markets: using its market dominance to force companies to operate on its terms, which invariably shields it from competition.More news: Mom Lisa Snyder charged with murder of kids found hanging in basement
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The European commission executivetold Reuters that questionnaires had been sent as part of preliminary investigations into Facebook and Google's data. These investigations started after the government officials and regulators in the U.S. started an antitrust investigations into big tech giants to make sure that they were not involved in any "anti-competitive conduct" and to make sure that users were not being exploited. Authorities had previously imposed fines of up to € 8 billion on Google over restrictive advertising contracts, anti-competitive Android policies and similar claims.
In response, Google has stated that they are only using the data to improve its services.
Google responded, however, that it is, in fact, driving more traffic to merchants that are served by the CSEs, which may hint at their point about becoming agencies for their merchants.
The EU Commission is investigating how Google collects data.
"We will continue to engage with the Commission and others on this important discussion for our industry".