Google Accused of Abusive Ad Tech Practices in Fresh EU Antitrust Complaint

  • The European Union is filing an antitrust complaint against Google over its ad tech practices, which could result in significant fines and potentially impact the company’s advertising technology that generates the majority of its revenue.
  • The formal charge sheet is expected to be announced on Wednesday, and it will target the core of Google’s ad tech business model, which accounts for 80% of its annual revenue, with ad sales reaching $225 billion in 2022.
  • Regulators around the world are increasingly concerned about the power that big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon wield over the digital economy, and will need to find ways to balance the benefits of digital innovation with the need to protect competition and consumer privacy.

The European Union has filed a fresh antitrust complaint against Google over its abusive ad tech practices. This marks yet another blow to the search giant’s reputation, which already faces several other investigations and lawsuits.

According to the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Google is accused of breaching antitrust rules by using its dominance in the online advertising industry to shut out rivals. Specifically, the complaint accuses Google of illegally favoring its own advertising technology services, while making it difficult for rival companies to compete on a level playing field.

The complaint comes after a year-long investigation into Google’s business practices, focusing on how the company collects and uses data to target online ads. The EU is concerned that Google’s practices may be harming competition, driving up advertising costs for businesses, and limiting consumer choice.

In response to the complaint, Google said it will defend itself against the allegations. The company claims that it has been working closely with the EU to address any concerns and ensure that its advertising practices are fair and transparent.

This is not the first time Google has faced antitrust complaints in Europe. In 2018, the EU fined the company a record €4.3 billion ($5.1 billion) for abusing its dominance in the mobile phone market by requiring manufacturers to pre-install its apps on Android devices.

If found guilty of the latest accusations, Google could face further fines and be required to change its business practices. The case is expected to take several years to resolve, and may have implications for the entire online advertising industry.

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