Google on Wednesday Paid It’s the latest in a string of cases around the world that have shaken the core of the internet giant’s business model by using its advantages in online advertising to undermine rivals and violate European Union antitrust laws. became.
The lawsuit, brought by the European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-member European Union, marks the fourth time Google has been charged with antitrust violations in recent years. In this instance, the EU accused Google of abusing it. Control of the online advertising buying and selling market.
The European Union’s announcement follows a similar lawsuit filed against Google by the US Department of Justice in January, accusing the company of illegally abusing its monopoly on the technology that underpins online advertising.UK antitrust authorities Investigate Google’s advertising practices.
The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant ramifications for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. $60 billion profit From last year’s ad. Ads power nearly all of Google’s most popular services, including search, email, maps, and Android, and the company makes them available for free.
“Google is present at almost every level of the so-called ad tech supply chain,” Margrethe Vestager, deputy chairman of the European Commission, which oversees digital and competition policy, said in a statement. “Our initial concern was that Google may have used its market position to favor its own intermediary services.”
“This could not only hurt the interests of Google’s competitors but also publishers, but it could also increase advertisers’ costs,” she added.
The new charges against Google are part of a long-running effort by European authorities to crack down on the world’s biggest tech company. Apple and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, are also under antitrust investigations. Last year, the European Union passed new antitrust and digital services laws to increase scrutiny of big tech companies. And on Wednesday, the EU’s legislative body, the European Parliament, passed a bill regulating artificial intelligence.
In recent years, European authorities have fined Google billions of dollars over antitrust violations related to its Android mobile operating system, shopping services and other parts of its advertising business. All lawsuits are still pending in court after a legal appeal by Google.
The new charges prompted the European Commission to issue a so-called “objection” against Google, outlining why it believes the company has violated antitrust laws. This is part of what could be a long process before a final decision is made on whether to fine Google up to 10% of its global revenue or mandate other changes to the company’s business practices. A walk. A settlement may be reached.
European regulators launched an investigation into Google two years ago, focusing on the display advertising market, which includes banners and other visual formats on websites. Google offers a number of services to advertisers and publishers in this space. It collects data to target ads, sells advertising space on websites, and offers products that act as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers who own her websites.
By controlling much of the online advertising supply chain, Vestager said Google is making it harder for rivals to compete. Publishers such as News Corp have long complained that Google’s dominance limited the revenue they could generate from ads on their websites and the emergence of competing services.