Brussels is threatening to force the platform to cede “part of its services” in this area.
Google is being caught by the collar. On Wednesday June 14, Brussels took the preliminary view that the American platform had “abused its dominant position” in online display advertising technologies, threatening to force the group to divest “part of its services” in this field. The European Commission’s preliminary view is that “the company has infringed EU rules on anti-competitive practices by distorting competition in the advertising technology sector”, according to a press release.
It accuses Google of “favoring its own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competing advertising technology service providers, advertisers and online publishers”. The European Commission, the EU’s competition watchdog, currently considers that “only the divestiture by Google of part of its services would remove its concerns”. The investigation, which was opened in 2021, is not yet complete, and the Mountain View group will have the opportunity to make its arguments heard.
If there is sufficient evidence, the platform could be fined up to 10% of its annual worldwide sales. “We disagree with the European Commission’s view and will respond accordingly,” the group’s advertising vice-president immediately reacted. Google has already been fined a total of €8 billion in the EU for various anti-competitive practices.