Italy hits Apple with a multimillion dollar fine for the second time in one week

From AppleInsider's "Italy fines Apple, Google, $11 million over use of customer data" posted Friday:

Italy claims that Apple and Google are together profiting from the use of user data, without telling those users what the purposes are. Its regulator has now fined the companies 10 million euros ($11.2 million).

Days after it fined Apple and Amazon a total of $230 million over alleged price fixing, Italy has imposed a new fine jointly on Apple and Google. This new move by the country's Competition and Market Authority, claims that the companies violate the Consumer Code.

"The Antitrust Authority has ascertained for each company two violations of the Consumer Code," said the regulator in a statement (in translation), "one for informative deficiencies and another for aggressive practises related to the acquisition and use of consumer data for commercial purposes."

"Google bases its economic activity on offering a wide range of products and services connected to the Internet... also based on user profiling and carried out thanks to their data," it continues. "Apple collects, profiles and uses user data for commercial purposes through the use of its devices and services."

"Therefore, even without proceeding with any transfer of data to third parties," it concludes, "Apple directly exploits its economic value through a promotional activity to increase the sale of its products and/or those of third parties through its App Store, iTunes Store and Apple Books commercial platforms."

My take: (With apologies for the false equivalence) This in a country whose three-time prime minister got reelected despite charges (and occasional convictions) of abuse of office, bribery and corruption of police officers, judges and politicians, collusion, defamation, embezzlement, extortion, false accounting, money laundering, perjury, tax fraud, underage prostitution influence and witness tampering. (source)

10 Comments

  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    The size of this fine doesn’t even qualify as a pinprick for Apple. The issue is lame for both Google and Apple.

    3
    November 26, 2021
  2. Bart Yee said:
    Yep, in Italy, there doesn’t ever seem to good government ever and there aren’t better alternative candidates or people. The Economist had this sobering comment and article from Jan. 2021:

    “Italy will have its 69th government since the end of the second world war—on average, one every 13 months. Why does Italy have so many short-lived governments”

    Which to me doesn’t inspire any confidence in its regulatory groups either and that goes for many other EU countries and the EU as a whole. If there’s little explanation and consistency to what IS competition and business, how are non-EU companies expected to comply?

    1
    November 26, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Startups and venture capital face many barriers in Italy. I know quite a few brilliant entrepreneurs who come here from Italy because of their home country’s challenges.

    Our favorite CFO, Luca Maestri, was born and educated, Bachelor of Economics, in Italy.

    2
    November 26, 2021
  4. Italy faces an aging population, an overwhelmed healthcare system, waves of migrants that end up living in homeless camps outside cities, crumbling infrastructure, devastating earthquakes & fires, all under often corrupt local, state and sometimes federal government officials. A large right-wing conservative voting bloc. Legislators ready to go after firms with money, but rarely the wealthy, often tax-evading, individuals. Any of this sound familiar?

    5
    November 26, 2021
    • David Drinkwater said:
      My brother-in-law is Roman and therefor fairly well educated on Burlesconi and recent Italian political history (we’re both ~50 years old).

      I hear, after the fact, but he and my sister totally agree that this happened, that when he saw Trump enter the Republican fray for President, he said:

      “There is your next President.”

      I shall not offer judgement, other than to say that, apparently, he was correct.

      0
      November 26, 2021
  5. David Emery said:
    Seems to be a lack of detail in press coverage about what specific conduct is alleged and what the proposed remedies are. My gut reaction is “more money grabs by EU politicians.”

    1
    November 26, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      I’m kinda coming to the belief that European politicians and bureaucrats believe that the success of US Big Tech means “they are doing something crooked.” (Otherwise, Europe would have big tech companies, too. 🙁 )

      3
      November 26, 2021
  6. Gregg Thurman said:
    Italy makes one understand the appeal of fascism.

    1
    November 26, 2021
  7. Hugh Lovell said:
    Italy’s current PM sounds a lot like the orange traitor we having living in FL and pretending to be president.

    2
    November 26, 2021

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