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European Publishers sue Google over display advertising

By Roland Udvarlaki February 14, 2022, 11:00 am
Google ads Source: Pocketnow

The European Publishers Council (EPC) filed an antitrust complaint against Google over uncompetitive practices in the advertising market. The new complaint was raised with the European Commission (EC), and it’s asking Google to make a stop at practices that crush the competition.

Google is having a tough time, it was sued again just last week for €2.1 billion by a Swedish company that claimed that Google manipulated the search results and promoted its own shopping comparison services. Google advertising practices have been under constant scrutiny for nearly a decade, and more lawsuits are piling up that Google will have to defend, and it’s becoming increasingly harder for the company to manage a positive reputation.

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The EPC claims that Google controls the advertising market through its Google Ads marketing platform, resulting in “supra-competitive rates” (via MobileWorldLive). The publishers traced back Google’s anti-competitive behavior to the acquisition of Double Click, which happened back in 2008. The EPC claims that it gives its advertising tools a special treatment, damaging other third-party services and advertising partners. The publishers claim that Google has “monopolize virtually every step of the advertising technology value chain”.

EPC Chairman, Christian Van Thillo said in a statement:

"It is high time for the European Commission to impose measures on Google that actually change, not just challenge, its behaviour, [...] Google has achieved end-to-end control of the ad tech value chain, boasting market shares as high as 90-100% in segments of the ad tech chain," via Reuters.

The EPC also warned that Google’s plans to remove third-party cookies from the Google Chrome web browser could introduce more damages in the near future, and it could reduce publishers’ revenue by as much as 70-percent.

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