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Italy Stops Google Display Probe, To Make Room For EU One

 |  November 2, 2021

Italy’s competition watchdog said it had dropped a probe into Alphabet’s Google alleged abuse of its dominant position in the online display advertising market after the EU antitrust started a similar investigation.

The Italian watchdog decided non to take any action as under EU laws the case is now out of its responsibility, it said in its weekly bulletin.

The European Commission opened an investigation in June into whether Google distorts competition by favoring its own online advertising technology services to the detriment of rivals, advertisers and online publishers.

The probe will focus on display advertising — online publicity that involves video, graphics or pictures rather than just text — which was worth 1.2 billion euros in Italy last year, representing a major source of income for media groups.

EU regulators said they would examine Google’s “discriminatory use of the enormous amount of data gathered by its applications which prevents its competitors… from being able to rival it effectively”.

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