June 12, 2023 | 2:36 p.m
European regulators are reportedly set to hit Google parent Alphabet with a new complaint targeting the tech giant’s lucrative digital advertising business.
The latest formal charges against Google are expected to be announced by the European Commission, the European Commission, Bloomberg reported Monday.
The complaint is expected to target Google’s “ad tech business model,” which is expected to be “extremely important within the current five-year mandate of the European Commission,” sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
The upcoming bill will be another regulatory setback for Google parent Alphabet, which will see major antitrust measures in the United States targeting various parts of its business empire.
Google has been hit with three fines in the European Union since 2017 worth $8.6 billion.
The sum includes a record fine of more than $4 billion over Google’s business practices related to its Android operating system. Google is still challenging that penalty in court.
Google’s digital advertising behemoth accounts for a whopping 80% of the company’s annual revenue. By 2022 alone, Google will generate approximately $225 billion in online ad sales.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
EU antitrust authorities have been investigating Google’s digital advertising technology model since 2021, according to the report. The authorities investigated whether Google unfairly blocked competitors’ access to user data for its digital advertising efforts.
As of April, 17 states have joined the Justice Department’s antitrust division in a federal lawsuit alleging Google monopolized the digital advertising market.
The suit alleges that Google “uses anti-competitive, exclusionary and illegal means to eliminate or substantially destroy its dominance in digital advertising technologies.”
The DOJ argues that Google should be forced to sell its ad manager entirely. The company has denied engaging in anticompetitive business practices and asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
In the US, Google faces a separate federal antitrust lawsuit targeting its search business that is set to go to trial in September.
The feds are investigating whether the company’s Google Maps business and app developers have been anticompetitive by requiring developers to search for its maps and products in its terms of service.