Once again, big US tech companies find themselves in conflict with Italian authorities.

New troubles for Google in Italy. This time, however, the company can console itself with the fact that it is in good company: together with it, Twitch, the streaming platform most appreciated by gaming enthusiasts, was also fined. In today’s digital world, these video sharing channels play a crucial role in shaping users’ opinions and interests.

Google and Twitch have received a considerable fine from AGCOM – Sjbeez

The problem arises when they also become vehicles for questionable content. At that point, regulators step in to safeguard public interests. This was precisely the case of the Communications Authority (AGCOM), which took a rather harsh decision by imposing decidedly considerable fines on the two giants of the sector.

Yet another controversy between an American tech giant and the Italian authorities

AGCOM imposed fines on Google, for its YouTube service, and on Twitch, for a total amount exceeding 3 million euros. This intervention arises from the violation of some Italian regulations, which prohibit gambling advertising. Google and YouTube received the highest fines of 2.25 million euros, while Twitch was fined 900,000 euros.

Gambling advertising on the platform did not go unnoticed by the Italian authorities – Sjbeez

AGCOM’s investigations were triggered by numerous complaints relating to the presence of content promoting gambling, including slot machines, sports betting games and scratch cards. Over 80 channels have been identified on YouTube and Twitch, for a total of more than 20,000 videos with such promotions. All this happened despite the ban on gambling advertising having been in force in Italy for over four years.

TikTok was also included in the AGCOM magnifying glass, but was ultimately excluded from the sanctions because the authority considered that the gambling content on TikTok was independent of any commercial agreement. AGCOM’s decision not only has financial implications for Google and Twitch, but also serves as a warning for other digital platforms. With new Italian regulations for the protection of minors online coming into force on January 8 next year, tech companies will have to take stricter measures against certain types of content.

This case reopens the ancient debate on the responsibility that digital platforms have in monitoring and controlling the contents shown by their users. Both Google and Twitch were held liable as owners of the media that disseminated such videos, even though they were published by third parties. And the discussion seems destined to continue for a long time to come.