The European Commission in investigating whether Google favors its own ad displays.
The executive arm of the European Union, the European Commission, announced today that they would be beginning a fresh antitrust investigation into Google, this time on the grounds that the company favors the use of its own ad display software over others.
“Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space and also acts as an online advertising intermediary. So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising. We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack,” European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
This new probe will be determining whether Google somehow restricts the ability of third-party advertisers and publishers to access user data in the same way their own systems are able to. The probe is also part of a bigger effort to analyze Google’s methods and behaviors in the field of advertising.
“Thousands of European businesses use our advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every single day,” a Google spokesperson wrote in a response to the probe. “They choose them because they’re competitive and effective. We will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European businesses and consumers.”
The investigation follows several recent antitrust lawsuits imposed on Google by the European Commission, as well as the French Competition Authority. Earlier this month, Google was fined 220 million euros (approx. $262 USD) by the French Competition Authority for power abuse in online advertising.