With a press release of 7 September 2020 the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has announced the commencement of six investigations against three of the leading cloud computing service providers  worldwide.

The investigations involve Google (for Google Drive service), Apple (for iCloud service) and Dropbox and concern alleged unfair commercial practices and alleged inclusion of unfair terms in the contractual conditions.

In particular, in respect of the investigations for unfair commercial practices (proceedings no. PS11147-PS11149-PS11150), the Authority is assessing the failure to indicate or the inadequate indication by the three providers, when presenting their cloud computing service, of the activity involving collection and use of the users’ data for commercial purposes. This would result in undue influence on the user, who would not be able to give consent to the processing of their personal data for commercial purposes.  

In addition, the Authority finds that Dropbox has failed to provide clear, precise and readily accessible information on the conditions, terms and procedures to exercise the right of withdrawal and the right to reconsider the purchase. Moreover, Dropbox have failed to inform the user on the possibility of accessing  an out-of-court dispute settlement mechanism in disputes involving the consumer and the professional.

Finally, the Authority (proceedings no. CV194-CV195-CV196) is assessing the unfairness of some contractual terms set out in the contracts with the users. In particular, the proceedings refer to the contractual terms providing for the operator’s broad power to suspend and interrupt the cloud service, the exemption from liability even in the event of the loss of documents stored on the user’s cloud space, the right of the operator of unilaterally modifying the contractual terms and the prevalence of the English version of the contract’s text over the Italian version.