Commission opens preliminary investigation against Google and Facebook in relation to data-gathering practices

The Commission has opened a preliminary investigation into potential anticompetitive datagathering practices, addressing requests for information to Google and Facebook.

The probe would concern the way such companies collect, process, use and monetise data (for example, via advertising).

The Commission’s move follows a series of investigations and fines against Google, namely, the cases concerning Shopping search, Android and AdSense.

The decisions on these cases are currently on appeal before the General Court of the EU.

This summer, Margrethe Vestager also referred to a potential scrutiny of Google’s job search services, although no formal investigation has been announced yet.

As for Facebook, it has been reported that the Commission is looking into on-line classified advertising practices and would have sent questionnaires on the matter.