The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether Google is dominating the online-advertising market at the expense of its rivals.
Google has said it will co-operate with the inquiry.
“A level playing field is of the essence for everyone in the supply chain.
“Fair competition is important – both for advertisers to reach consumers on publishers’ sites and for publishers to sell their space to advertisers.”
The inquiry will look at:
- the obligation to use Google’s services and or Google Ads to purchase display ads on YouTube
- the obligation to use Google Ad Manager to service online display ads on YouTube
- the apparent favouring of Google’s ad exchange, AdX, by its other services
- the restrictions placed by Google on the ability of rival advertisers to access data about user identity or behaviour
- Google’s plans to prohibit third-party cookies on Chrome
- Google’s plans to stop making the advertising identifier available to third parties on Android smart mobile devices
Its Privacy Sandbox alternative to cookies, which track users as they move around the web, on Chrome will provide only anonymised feedback.
But there are concerns it will also favour Google over its rivals.
Google has been hit with a series of EU fines in the past three years, totalling 8.25bn euros (£7bn).
In March 2019, it was fined £91m for abusing its market dominance by restricting third-party rivals from displaying search ads between 2006 and 2016.