Italy’s competition watchdog on Monday (September 7, 2020) announced that it is investigating the cloud storage services run by Apple, Dropbox, and Google in response to several complaints about unfair commercial practices and violations of the Country’s consumer rights directive.
The Competition and Market Authority said it has launched a total of six investigations into Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, and DropBox cloud storage service. The agency has said that it is looking into whether the three companies either failed to or did not adequately explain how user’s data will be collected and used for commercial purposes. It also seeks to examine Dropbox unfair clauses in its terms and conditions with regards to the services’ contracts that would exempt the services from some liability and terms to pursue dispute settlements out of court.
The probe comes in the wake of a larger push by the European Union antitrust regulators to clarify their terms and conditions of service so as to ensure better privacy protection of the consumers. Last year, Facebook updated its terms and conditions clarifying its business model for generating revenue from the data under pressure after a mandate from the EU regulators. Earlier this year, Italian officials launched an antitrust investigation against Apple and Amazon as part of a separate competition probe. That inquiry seeks to determine whether Apple and Amazon engaged in any sort of anti-competitive agreement to prevent the sale of Apple products and Beats headphones by other retailers. However, the representatives for Apple, Dropbox, and Google did not deny responding immediately to the requests for comment on the investigation.