The European Publishers Council (EPC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google with the European Commission, accusing the US tech giant of anti-competitive activities in digital advertising.
EPC said in a statement released today that the company has been operating since Google acquired online advertising platform DoubleClick in 2008 “has resorted to a variety of illegal tactics to eliminate competition in the advertising technology industry.” The editors noted that Google now has a 90% to 100% market share in certain ad technology business segments.
“Google’s ad tech suite is fraught with conflicts of interest, as the company represents (the interests of) a buyer and a seller in the same transaction, operates an auction house in the middle, and sells its own online advertising inventory.” says EPC. It also noted that Google is using its position to prioritize its own interests at the expense of the customers it is designed to serve.
EPC asked the European Commission to involve Google “Responsibility for anti-competitive behavior” and take action to restore effective competition in the so-called advertising technology supply chain.
Last June, the European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into whether Google broke EU competition rules by favoring its own online advertising technologies at the expense of competing ad technology service providers, advertisers and online publishers.