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Publishers File A EU-Wide Antitrust Complaint Against Google

 |  February 11, 2022

Publishers have filed a Europe-wide antitrust complaint against Google accusing it of using ‘unlawful tactics’ to monopolise online advertising and crush competition, giving it a stranglehold over the industry that threatens the free press.

The European Publishers Council (EPC), a group of Chairmen and CEOs of the continent’s leading media groups including MailOnline’s owner Daily Mail and General Trust, has today revealed it is complaining to the European Commission about the tech giant’s digital advertising practices.

They say Google’s advertising platform is ‘rife with conflicts of interests’ because it is acting as buyer and the seller in the same transaction, while also operating the auction house in the middle in a monopoly that harms publishers and consumers across Europe.

The Silicon Valley firm’s position has been compared to ‘Goldman or Citibank owning the New York Stock Exchange’ because it controls both buy-side and sell-side advertising brokers.

Figures show that one of Google’s advertising auction programs dropped publisher revenue by 40%, and there are fears changes to its cookie technology could hit revenues by up to 70%.

Meanwhile it takes advantage of its dominant position to increase its market share at the expense of customers who are locked into Google products.

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