Monday, December 5, 2022
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Google faces $25 billion EU/UK lawsuit over its ad tech business

What just happened? Google is no stranger to antitrust lawsuits, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the company is once again being sued for allegedly abusing its dominant position. This time, a lawsuit filed in the UK and the EU accuses Google of anti-competitive behavior in the digital advertising market and seeks compensation that could amount to 25 billion euros, or 25.43 billion dollars.

The European Commission opened an investigation into Google’s digital advertising business in June last year. As reported by Reuters, EU regulators recently expanded their scope of the case by taking over the Portuguese competition watchdog’s investigation into the same issue. There was also a €220 million fine imposed on Google last year by the French competition watchdog for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.

Google is now facing a lawsuit filed in British and Dutch courts seeking to recover advertising revenue lost due to the company’s alleged anti-competitive behavior over a period of several years. The total amount of compensation could reach up to $25 billion.

“Publishers, including local and national media outlets that play a vital role in our society, have long been harmed by Google’s anti-competitive conduct,” said Damien Geradin of Belgian law firm Geradin Partners, via of The Guardians.

Toby Starr, a partner at Humphries Kerstetter, the UK law firm that plans to take the case to the competition court of appeal, stressed that it would not only benefit news sites. “This significant claim will represent a class of victims of Google’s anti-competitive conduct in ad technology who have collectively lost approximately £7 billion. This includes news websites from across the country with large readerships. newspapers, as well as the thousands of small business owners who depend on advertising revenue, whether it’s from their fishing website, food blog, football fanzine, or other online content they’ve spent time creating and publishing.” .

It is noted that the UK claim is excluded, so any person affected will automatically be a party to the claim unless you say otherwise. The Netherlands case is optional, so people will have to join the lawsuit themselves. Thousands of parties in the UK alone are expected to be part of the claim.

Google responded to the lawsuit by calling it “speculative and opportunistic,” adding that it intends to vigorously fight the case.

With a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, Google (or more specifically, its parent Alphabet) is a dominant force in the online space. Its position of power has seen the company deal with and continue to face multiple lawsuits and surveillance investigations within the EU and elsewhere over claims of monopolistic practices.


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