Google hit by antitrust lawsuit from European publishers

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Google has been hit by an antitrust complaint from the European Publishers Council (EPC) over the tech giant’s alleged anti-competitive digital advertising practices.

The EPC, a trade group that represents some of Europe’s biggest media organizations, said it had filed a complaint with the European Commission against Google in a bid to “break the grip of advertising technology” on online advertising.

In one declaration On Friday, the EPC said that since Google’s 2008 acquisition of online advertising platform DoubleClick, the company had “embarked on a barrage of illegal tactics to prevent competition in advertising technology.”

He said Google now claims market shares of up to 90-100% “in certain segments of the ad tech business.

“Google’s suite of ad technologies is plagued with conflicts of interest, as Google represents both buyer and seller in the same transaction, while operating the auction house in the middle and selling its own inventory” , said the EPC.

“Far from managing its conflicts, Google has time and again taken advantage of its position to prioritize its own interests over the very customers it is meant to serve.”

Alphabet shares were 0.05% lower in premarket trading. The stock is down 4.20% year-to-date.

The EPC called on the Commission to hold Google “accountable for its anti-competitive behavior” and impose remedies to restore effective competition in the ad tech value chain.

The European Commission opened in June a formal antitrust investigation whether Google favors its own online display advertising technology services over its online competitors, advertisers and publishers.

A Google spokesperson said Barons: “Online advertising underpins much of the content we enjoy and learn about online.

“It has enabled millions of small businesses to pay for advertising for the first time, and for news publishers large and small it has created new opportunities and substantial new revenue streams that did not exist. in the age of print.

“When publishers choose to use our ad services, they keep the majority of the revenue, and each year we pay billions of dollars directly to publisher partners in our advertising network.”

Write to Lina Saigol at [email protected]

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