German competition authority and Google strike deal on user choice


In the talks, Google was able to advance its position that services regulated by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) would not be subject to additional requirements imposed by the German authority. — Photo by Ben STANSALL/AFP

BERLIN: Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Germany’s competition authority have reached a compromise on providing a range of choices to users of the popular search engine, the Federal Cartel Office announced in Bonn on Thursday.

"In the future users of Google services will have a much better choice as to what happens to their data, how Google can use them and whether their data may be used across services,” Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt wrote after the deal was announced.

The compromise follows a warning issued by the Cartel Office following a change to German law.

It will not only protect users’ right to determine the use of their data, but also curb Google’s data-driven market power, Mundt said.

In the talks, Google was able to advance its position that services regulated by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) would not be subject to additional requirements imposed by the German authority.

These include Google Shopping, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube, Android, Google Chrome and Google’s online advertising service.

A Google spokesman expressed satisfaction at the outcome, describing the exchange of views with the Cartel Office as "constructive.” Google had long been a pioneer in the market in providing users with choice, transparency and simple controls to assist in the administration of their data, he said. – dpa

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