Reverse merger: The Asia-Pacific Tipline for 31 July 2020

While not nearly as exciting as the “Big Tech” antitrust hearings before the US House of Representatives this week, a recent report has claimed that Google has a project focused on accessing sensitive data about third-party applications on its Android platform and uses that information to mould its own services. The report claims that Google used this “Android Lockbox” project to monitor how consumers were using the popular video-sharing app TikTok in India after the government announced it was banning the Chinese-backed service. Google denies collecting any information about in-app activity from third party applications, but the claims could raise competition concerns. Amazon found itself denying a similar pattern of behaviour in the US last summer – claiming it does not use data from third-party sellers on its platform to compete with its own Amazon-branded products.

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