EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says that Amazon.com Inc. and Google are still facing antitrust probes.
“We have a probe into the Amazon use of data because they both host a lot of businesses but they also compete against those businesses themselves. We want to figure out if this a fair use of data,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. On Google, “we’re still looking into the question” of searches for jobs and local services.
Last March, European antitrust authorities fined Google 1.49 billion euro ($1.7 billion) that helped to pull down owner Alphabet Inc.’s earnings. Vestager fined the U.S. giant 8.2 billion euros and demanded changes over how it displays rival shopping search results and how it distributes its apps for Android mobile phones. Google risks more fines if it doesn’t make changes that trigger more competition.
Regulators are focusing on how online giants handle smaller firms they host on their platforms is a big focus for the EU. In case of Google, the regulators are looking at how traffic of the websites owned by hotel and flight reservation services change when Google makes changes to its search algorithm.
Amazon may be the EU’s next target. Vestager has said she expects to move forward with the probe, which is currently labeled as a preliminary investigation, later this year after regulators finish sifting through evidence they’ve sought from hundreds of retailers that use the platform.
The next step, if any, would be to open a formal investigation. Vestager didn’t mention Apple in the interview, which may also face antitrust trouble if the EU backs a Spotify Technology SA complaint over how the iPhone maker takes a cut of sales on its App store.