Italy’s communications watchdog, AGCOM, has slapped significant fines on Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch for purportedly violating regulations that prohibit gambling advertising within the country. The fines imposed amounted to 2.25 million euros ($2.45 million) for YouTube and 900,000 euros for Twitch.
AGCOM disclosed that it had taken action against the streaming platforms, asserting that both YouTube and Twitch had breached rules related to the promotion of gambling content. The regulatory authority also announced the removal of over 20,000 online videos that were found to be promoting various forms of gambling, including sports betting.
The investigation revealed that both streaming services had established commercial partnerships with video creators who were responsible for producing and publishing content that violated Italy’s gambling advertising rules. AGCOM’s decision to fine YouTube and Twitch reflects a commitment to enforcing strict regulations on online platforms, particularly concerning content that may encourage gambling.
This move comes as part of AGCOM’s broader efforts to regulate and monitor online content, ensuring that platforms adhere to the country’s laws and guidelines. The fines levied against YouTube and Twitch underscore the watchdog’s determination to hold major tech companies accountable for potential violations that could impact Italian consumers.
While YouTube and Twitch are global platforms, AGCOM’s actions signal the importance of complying with local regulations in each jurisdiction where these companies operate. The fines not only serve as a financial penalty but also act as a deterrent to other platforms, emphasizing the need for strict adherence to advertising rules and guidelines.
In response to the fines, both YouTube and Twitch are expected to review their content policies and partnerships to prevent future violations of Italian regulations. The removal of thousands of videos is likely to impact the revenue streams of content creators associated with these platforms.