Wednesday was Google will be imposed Violating EU antitrust laws by using its dominance in online advertising to undercut rivals is the latest in a string of lawsuits around the world that strike at the heart of the internet giant’s business model.
The case was filed by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation European Union, and is the fourth time Google has been accused of violating European antitrust laws in recent years. In this instance, the European Union accused Google of its abuse Regulation of the marketplace for buying and selling online advertising.
The EU announcement follows similar charges brought against Google by the US Justice Department in January. There is also Britain’s antitrust authority Examines Google’s advertising practices.
The results of the lawsuits could have significant implications for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. $60 billion profit From last year’s ad. Advertising supports all of Google’s most popular services, including search, email, maps and Android, and allows the company to offer them for free.
“Google is present at all stages of the so-called adtech supply chain,” Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, which oversees digital and competition policy, said in a statement. “Our initial concern is that Google may have leveraged its market position for its own middleware services.”
“This has harmed not only Google’s competitors, but also publishers’ interests, while driving up costs for advertisers,” he added.
The new charges against Google are part of a long-running effort by European authorities to rein in the world’s biggest tech companies. Apple and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, are the subject of an antitrust investigation. Last year, the European Union enacted new antitrust and digital services laws to tighten oversight of the biggest tech companies. On Wednesday, the European Parliament, the EU’s legislative branch, passed a draft law to regulate artificial intelligence.
In recent years, European authorities have fined Google billions of dollars for antitrust violations related to its Android mobile operating system, shopping service and another part of its advertising business. All cases are bound in court after legal appeals by Google.
Along with the new charges, the European Commission released what’s known as a “statement of objections” against Google, outlining why it believes the company violated antitrust laws. It’s a step that could be a lengthy process before final decisions are made on whether to fine Google up to 10 percent of its global revenue or order other changes to its business practices. A solution may also be reached.
Google disagreed with the regulators’ finding and said it would “respond accordingly”.
“Our ad technology tools help websites and apps monetize their content and help businesses of all sizes reach new customers more effectively,” said Dan Taylor, vice president of global advertising at Google. “Google is committed to creating value for our publisher and advertiser partners in this highly competitive industry. The Commission’s investigation focuses on a narrow aspect of our advertising business and is not new.
European regulators began investigating Google two years ago, focusing on the display advertising market, which includes banners and other display formats on websites. Google offers many services to advertisers and publishers in this field. It collects data to target ads, sells ad space on websites and offers products that act as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers who own websites.
Ms. Vestager has said that Google makes it difficult for rivals to compete by controlling a large part of the online advertising supply chain. Publishers like News Corp have long complained that Google’s dominance limits how much money they can make from advertising on their websites or the emergence of competing services.
The European Publishers Council, an industry group representing media companies, praised Wednesday’s action. The group said it filed a complaint a year ago detailing how Google “used their position to the disadvantage of publishers.”
“We look forward to working with the commission as the case continues,” said Angela Mills Wade, the council’s executive director.