In Europe, Google is investigated for advertising monopoly practices and press publishers celebrate it

Google has faced around $ 9.5 billion in fines in the last decade for monopolistic practices.

Photo: MIX Company / Pexels

Google is once again in the European Union’s antitrust crosshairs, because the authorities launched an investigation into whether their digital advertising business gives them an unfair advantage over their rivals and advertisers.

The European Commission assured that it will investigate whether Google alters competition by restricting third-party access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and applications, reserving that data for its own use and benefit.

Faced with the measure, the European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA) and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), welcomed the antitrust investigation that creates a level playing field for rival vendors, advertisers and publishers, announced the . agency.

The EMMA-ENPA, considered the measure “timely”, because “it will analyze the dynamics of the advertising market and guarantee respect for equal conditions.”

“It is an opportunity not to be missed to restore the online competition that has been distorted by those gatekeepers and to ensure that press publishers can continue to offer their services online in a fair and non-discriminatory manner”, Added the association in a statement.

EMMA-ENPA shared the concern of the European competition authorities that Google is benefiting from privileged access to user data, through logins on its platforms and its presence at all stages of the chain. online advertising supply.

The publishing associations pointed out that because online publications are highly dependent on advertising revenue, any manipulated restrictions that affect user targeting “It has a direct impact on the financing possibilities of the free press”.

For her part, Margrethe Vestager, from the European Competition Commission, expressed her concern that Google has made it difficult for rivals to freely compete for online services, in the long chain of advertising technology.

The new initiative of the European Union’s competition body is one more case for Google, which has faced around $ 9.5 billion in fines in the last decade, for blocking its competitors in terms of consumption and online advertising.

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