Exclusive: EU antitrust regulators say they are investigating Google’s data collection

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FILE PHOTO: A man passes a Google signage outside their office in Singapore May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s collection of data, the European Commission told Reuters on Saturday, suggesting the world’s most popular internet search engine remains in its sights despite record fines in recent years.

Competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are now looking into how dominant tech companies use and monetise data.

The EU executive said it was seeking information on how and why Alphabet unit Google is collecting data, confirming a Reuters story on Friday.

“The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the EU regulator told Reuters in an email.

A document seen by Reuters shows the EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines totalling more than 8 billion euros to Google in the last two years and ordered it to change its business practices.

Google has said it uses data to better its services and that users can manage, delete and transfer their data at any time.

(This story has been refiled to fix spelling in first paragraph to sights, not sites.)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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