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Google sued for anti-competitive practices in the ad tech market


Google sued for anti-competitive practices in the ad tech market

Google is facing a multi-billion dollar lawsuit in the UK for alleged illegal monopoly in the ad tech market.

The case, brought by a British journalist, claims that the tech giant dominates the £3.6 billion display ad market in the UK.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has found the firm owns between 50 and 90 percent of the complex intermediary markets in ad tech.

Read More: Google faces antitrust lawsuit over alleged illegal market dominance

It regulates the ads users view and the payments to advertisers.

Since 2014, the US giant has been charged with anti-competition for favoring its own ad tech services and charging publishers inflated prices.

Charles Arthur, the petitioner, claims Google has escalated rates for ad tech services across the board, costing publishers up to 19 percent of their revenue.

He said: “Google has inserted itself between advertisers and publishers in the online display ad market by riding a wave of technological development that it claims has brought benefits to publishers. 

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“This is not true: as a result of Google’s conduct publishers have suffered losses running into billions of pounds.

“The UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently investigating Google’s anti-competitive conduct in ad tech.

“But they don’t have the power to make Google compensate those who have lost out.”

It’s not the first time similar accusations have been levelled against the company.

Read More: Google parent Alphabet to lay off 12,000 staff

For example, the US Justice Department and eight states brought a similar case in January, alleging the firm was exploiting its position.

However, similar charges have been lodged in the EU, Australia, and France.

The French competition authority concluded in June 2021 that Google had abused its dominating position in the ad tech market.

Google agreed to pay a €220 million fine and change its practices.

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Another similar action was filed in the UK in November by Claudio Pollack, former director of regulator Ofcom, seeking up to £13.6 billion in damages.

The company said: “Google works constructively with publishers across the UK and Europe – our advertising tools, and those of our many adtech competitors, help millions of websites and apps fund their content, and enable businesses of all sizes to effectively reach new customers.

“These services adapt and evolve in partnership with those same publishers. This lawsuit is speculative and opportunistic. We’ll oppose it vigorously and on the facts.”

Source: Forbes

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