EU Antitrust Commission Eyes Google Ad Tech
June 22, 2021
European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to
assess whether Google has violated EU competition rules by favouring its
own online display advertising technology services in the so called “ad
tech” supply chain, to the detriment of competing providers of
advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers. The
formal investigation will notably examine whether Google is distorting
competition by restricting access by third parties to user data for
advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for
its own use.
Many publishers rely on online display advertising to fund free online
content for consumers. In 2019, display advertising spending in the EU
was estimated to be approximately €20 billion. Google provides several
advertising technology services that intermediate between advertisers
and publishers in order to display ads on web sites or mobile apps.
The obligation to use Google Ad Manager to serve online display advertisements on YouTube, and potential restrictions placed by Google on the way in which services competing with Google Ad Manager are able to serve online display advertisements on YouTube.
The apparent favouring of Google's ad exchange “AdX” by DV360 and/or Google Ads and the potential favouring of DV360 and/or Google Ads by AdX.
The restrictions placed by Google on the ability of third parties, such as advertisers, publishers or competing online display advertising intermediaries, to access data about user identity or user behaviour which is available to Google's own advertising intermediation services, including the Doubleclick ID.
Google's announced plans to prohibit the placement of third party ‘cookies' on Chrome and replace them with the “Privacy Sandbox” set of tools, including the effects on online display advertising and online display advertising intermediation markets.
Google's announced plans to stop making the advertising identifier available to third parties on Android smart mobile devices when a user opts out of personalised advertising, and the effects on online display advertising and online display advertising intermediation markets.
proven, the practices under investigation may breach EU competition
rules on anticompetitive agreements between companies (Article 101 of
the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) and/or on
the abuse of a dominant position (Articles 102 TFEU).