Published: March 14, 2024

Google and Twitch face heavy penalties over illegal online gambling advertising

The Italian Communication Authority (Agcom) has issued significant fines to Google and Twitch after the two companies were found to be in breach of rules preventing advertisements for online gambling in progammes targeting Italian audiences.

The legislation was introduced on 5 December last year.

Google Ireland Ltd (YouTube) was fined a total of €2,250,000 while Twitch Interactive Germany GmbH received a fine of €900,000.

The Authority said Google and Twitch were held responsible as “owners of the means of video dissemination published by third parties with whom they had specific commercial partnership contracts”. It is the third time that Google has been in breach of the rules.

According to article 6 of the Digital Services Act, providers of hosting services are not liable for information stored on their services on condition that they do not have actual knowledge of the illegal content or take action to remove or disable it once they become awate.

In both cases, Agcom considered that the platform providers had actual knowledge of the illegal content. The knowledge was inferred from the terms of the commercial partnership between the platforms and the concerned channels editors.

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