EU opens antitrust probe into Google’s promoting unit

A brand outdoors the Google Retailer Chelsea in New York, Might 28, 2021.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

The European Fee, the EU’s govt arm, opened a brand new investigation into Google on Tuesday to evaluate whether or not the tech large has favored its personal on-line show advert know-how providers, and due to this fact breached antitrust guidelines.

“Google collects knowledge for use for focused promoting functions, it sells promoting area and likewise acts as an internet promoting middleman. So Google is current at virtually all ranges of the availability chain for on-line show promoting. We’re involved that Google has made it more durable for rival internet marketing providers to compete within the so-called advert tech stack,” European Fee Government Vice President Margrethe Vestager mentioned in an announcement.

As a part of the brand new probe, the fee shall be assessing the restrictions that Google has positioned on the flexibility of advertisers, publishers and different third events to entry knowledge about person identification and person habits.

A spokesperson for Google mentioned by way of electronic mail: “1000’s of European companies use our promoting merchandise to succeed in new clients and fund their web sites each single day. They select them as a result of they’re aggressive and efficient. We’ll proceed to have interaction constructively with the European Fee to reply their questions and display the advantages of our merchandise to European companies and shoppers.”

The announcement marks the official begin of a full evaluation into how Google behaves within the promoting area with no set deadline for its completion. It additionally provides to an inventory of probes and fines which have taken place within the European market lately.

Earlier this month, the French competitors authority fined Google 220 million euros ($262 million) for abusing its market energy within the on-line advert trade.

The fee additionally imposed a effective of 1.49 billion euros on Google in March 2019 for breaching antitrust guidelines. On the time, the Brussels-based establishment mentioned the U.S. agency had imposed restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party web sites that prevented Google’s rivals from inserting their search adverts on these web sites.

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