EU Launches Antitrust Investigation of Google Ad Business

Posted on June 23, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google with 7 Comments

The European Union announced that it is investigating whether Google’s advertising business has violated EU competition rules.

“Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetize [its] online services,” European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager says of the investigation. “Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space and also acts as an online advertising intermediary. So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising.”

As Ms. Vestager explains it, the Commission is concerned, understandably, that Google destroys competition in the online advertising market that it now dominates. “Fair competition is important: she notes, “both for advertisers to reach consumers on publishers’ sites and for publishers to sell their space to advertisers, to generate revenues and funding for content.” As a result, the EC is examining Google’s user tracking policies to ensure that they do not harm competition.

The primary concern, apparently, is whether Google harms competition by restricting access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps for third parties while keeping that data to itself for use in its own services. The EU estimates that this market is currently worth $24 billion annually, and is growing rapidly.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “EU Launches Antitrust Investigation of Google Ad Business”

  1. lvthunder

    If that is the case I'm not sure what they can do about it.

  2. Pbike908

    I just came up with a thought...tell these guys they ha e today 25% to 30% per year in corporate tax or else. Tell them to cease booking profits arbitrarily in tax havens. This goes for Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and any other multinational. That's really what this is all about -- ?

  3. locust_infested_orchard_inc.

    I love Margrethe Vestager ❤️, as she holds the feet of the belligerents (Fakebook, Adoogle) to the fire. ?

  4. SvenJ

    This is what happens after two decades of tech writers tell everyone the only reason other browsers exist is to download Chrome and the Google search engine.

  5. zicoz

    They need to include Facebook in that investigation.

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