EU investigates Google’s conduct in digital advertising

Kenya to benefit from Google's Ksh.110.7 billion digital investment plan

European Union regulators have launched a fresh antitrust investigation of tech giant Google.

Investigators want to establish whether Google is stifling competition in digital advertising technology.

The investigation signals a renewed effort by Margrethe Vestager, the EU commission’s competition chief and executive vice president for digital, to rein in Google’s market power.

She has already slapped Google with a total of Ksh.1 trillion (8.2 billion Euros ) worth of fines in three separate antitrust cases.

“Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetize their online services,” Vestager said. Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising while it also sells advertising space and acts as a middleman between online advertisers and publishers, she said.

“We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack,” Vestager said.

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The EU Commission said it was investigating the ways Google uses technology to broker display ad sales between online advertisers and publishers.

In response to the claims, Google said “thousands of European businesses use our advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every single day,” Google said in a prepared statement.

“They choose them because they’re competitive and effective. We will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European businesses and consumers.”

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