April 15, 2024

Meta fined over data transfers as US, EU consider privacy pact



Published May 22, 2023, 11:20 p.m. by Jerald Waisoki


The European Union fined Google €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion) on Wednesday for breaching EU antitrust rules.

The decision is the latest in a long-running battle between the EU and the U.S. tech giant.

The European Commission, the EU's antitrust authority, said Google had "abused its market dominance" as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy, said Google's conduct denied consumers "a genuine choice" of shopping services.

"Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives," she said. "That's a good thing. But Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals."

"Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service," she said.

The Commission said Google had 90 days to stop the illegal conduct or face further penalties of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

Google said it would "study the decision and consider our options."

"We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today," Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president of global affairs, said in a statement.

The fine is the latest in a series of antitrust actions against Google by the EU.

In June 2017, the Commission fined Google €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules by giving illegal advantages to another Google product, its online search engine.

In March 2019, the Commission fined Google €1.03 billion ($1.1 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules by abusing its market dominance as a search engine to give illegal advantages to another Google product, its AdSense advertising platform.

The Commission is also investigating Google's Android mobile operating system and its AdMob advertising platform.

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let's do a quick check of the market

sponsored by flag shares still looking

at a mixed picture although we are

seeing some of the selling action for

the down starting to slow down now that

our just off about more than 70 points

there the S P 500 also still seen some

gains here up about six points ever so

slightly in positive territory and same

story with the NASDAQ they're also

seeing gains considering to pick up

they're up about 60 points so far or

about half a percent

well meta got hit with a huge fine today

from the EU a record 1.3 billion dollars

over the transferring of European user

data to the US joining us now is Yahoo

finance Tech reporter Dan Howley so Dan

you said meta wasn't surprised at all by

this fine why not

yeah they were expecting a fine but

maybe they were surprised by the size of

it this is something that's been ongoing

uh for years now basically uh the issue

goes all the way back to uh when Edward

Snowden revealed that the US government

was able to spy on uh citizens in other

countries including uh in Europe they

started to draft data protections for

Europeans now we have the general data

protection regulation

um and there's data transfer

requirements for data going from Europe

to the US now those have been questioned

as to whether or not they allow

Europeans the kind of privacy or ability

to challenge when the U.S surveillance

uh

groups look at European users data so

that's been challenged and now uh

they're trying to come up with the new

means to allow for European user data to

be looked at and stored in the U.S by

U.S companies it's this is really comes

down to whether or not uh Europeans can

trust the U.S uh and kind of the uh

security infrastructure to not spy on

European's data and if so then they have

to provide a reason and for Europeans to

go ahead uh and then be able to question

that and so uh with this new issue

that's cropped up with Facebook there

ever meta they've essentially been fined

this 1.3 billion dollars 1.2 billion

euros as a result of these data transfer

problems and now the US and EU are

actively working to come to a new

agreement when it comes to data transfer

if they do that which is expected by the

summer then this would kind of all go

away for meta except for the fine they

have six months to essentially delete

all European user data that they have in

the US on their servers and then stop

processing EU your user data in the US

as well doing that would take far more

than six months though and so they're

hopeful that they will be able to see an

agreement between the EU and us and for

these data transfers to continue but

they're still going to be hit by that

1.3 billion dollars in their prior

earnings call they had discussed how

they're waiting for they were waiting

for the decision to come down they

expected some kind of fine and some kind

of ruling but 1.3 billion dollars that's

a that's a hefty fine

indeed I mean so then as we look at the

big picture then what are the

implications of this fine on

transatlantic data flows and this path

that the EU and the US are supposed to

be working on

yeah look this is something that could

affect any company that does business

from the US in the EU uh you know

they're going to probably transfer that

data from the EU to the U.S uh for

processing on their own servers and so

that this really could impact all of

those businesses uh not just meta uh it

could impact alphabet it could impact

Microsoft it could impact uh any any

company that does this kind of transfer

and it's not just big tech companies

either it's smaller companies as well

small medium businesses they may be

doing the same thing and so you know the

need to get this deal done between the

EU and the US really is just kind of

being shown in a greater light here with

this fine uh that meta receives and you

know 1.3 billion dollars a lot of money

but the FTC still hit them with 5

billion a few years ago uh because of

the issues that came with Cambridge

analytica and so they have sustained

similar fines before uh and gone ahead

no problem and so you know I think what

meta is really expecting is uh for the

US and the EU to somehow come together

on this and eventually have an agreement

in place where they don't have to worry

about future fines they don't have to

worry about doing anything else as far

as transferring of EU and data to the US

yeah certainly need some some clarity on

that that 1.3 billion has to sting I'm

sure a big thank you there for that

update Dan howling thanks so much

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