The European Union could soon face formal charges against Google for violating antitrust laws in the advertising market, which could result in hefty fines and hurt the advertising business, which accounts for the lion’s share of the American search giant’s revenues. About it reported Bloomberg citing informed sources.
The new lawsuit, which could be filed on Wednesday, is the most significant in the European Commission’s current five-year term, sources said. It represents a new escalation in tensions between the antitrust authority and Google, which has already led to three EU fines totaling more than 8 billion euros. The company could face a new EU probe, it was reported last year.
While the maximum fine for violating EU antitrust rules is 10% of a company’s global turnover, in practice this fine is rarely imposed. Instead, regulators typically require changes in corporate structure, which can be even more onerous for them.
The EU first launched an investigation into Google’s advertising business in 2021. As part of the investigation, the European Commission investigated how the company can prevent competitors from accessing user data for online advertising and whether it prioritizes the use of data for its services to the detriment of other advertisers.
The possibility of collusion between Google and Meta was also considered.* Platforms Inc., however, the investigation into this matter was closed at the end of 2022, although before that, in September 2022, the investigation into possible violations by Google in the online advertising market was expanded after the Portuguese antitrust authority presented new facts.
In addition to the EU, investigations into Google’s advertising technologies are also being conducted in Great Britain and the USA. The company denies the allegations and is trying to prove them unfounded.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court issued a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On Combating Extremists”. has met activity”.