More antitrust litigation targeting Big (ad)Tech: Google is being sued in the UK and the Netherlands where two suits have been announced today seeking damages on behalf of publishers who claim they have been harmed by anti-competitive adtech practices.
Per Reuters, publishers are seeking up to €25 billion in damages from Google for lost ad revenues via the litigation.
Google’s adtech stack — and certain other ad-related practices — are currently under investigation by both EU and UK competition authorities. However, last year France’s antitrust watchdog found the tech giant had abused a dominant position for ad servers for website publishers and mobile apps — fining Google up to €220 million for a variety of self-preferencing abuses; and extracting a series of interoperability commitments. The French regulator dubbed the case a world first in probing its complex algorithmic ad auctions.
Law firm, Geradin Partners, which acted for complainants in the French Competition Authority case, is leading the UK and EU damages actions.
“The French Competition Authority found Google had abused its dominant position by engaging in various forms of self-preferencing in breach of Article 102 TFEU,” it noted in a press release. “Specifically, Google used its publisher ad servers by favouring its own ad exchange and had used its ad exchange to favour its publisher ad server. Both practices had been in place since 2014. Google’s anticompetitive conduct was found to have caused harm to publishers. Google did not contest the findings.”
Source: Tech Crunch