EC Launches Antitrust Investigation Against Google

The European Commission intends to investigate whether Google is abusing its leading position in the market for media advertising services. According to a statement published on the European Commission’s website, the official investigation will examine whether Google promotes its own advertising technology services to the detriment of competitors. In particular, the regulator will check whether Google imposes its own services (such as Display & Video 360, Google Ads, Google Ad Manager) on advertisers and publishers in exchange for the right to access advertising technology on YouTube.

In addition, the watchdog intends to investigate whether the corporation is undermining competition by restricting third parties from accessing user data needed to serve ads on websites and apps, while retaining access to this data for itself. In particular, information about Google’s plans to refuse to provide third parties with advertising identifiers on Android mobile devices if a user opts out of personalised advertising will be verified.

Google offers advertisers and publishers a range of advertising technology services to place ads on websites and mobile apps. In 2019, spending on media advertising in the EU was around €20 billion.

« Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetise their online services. Google collects data for use in targeted advertising, sells advertising space, and acts as an intermediary in online advertising. Thus, Google is present at virtually every level of the online advertising media supply chain, » European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.


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