A PYMNTS Company

UK: Watchdog probes Facebook, Google dominance in advertising

 |  July 3, 2019

According to a report from Bloomberg, the UK’s antitrust authority is starting a long-awaited investigation into the dominance of social media giants including Alphabet’s Google and Facebook in digital advertising markets.

The Competition and Markets Authority said that if it found that the companies’ market power was harming competition it would consider bringing in a stricter regulatory regime. The new rules could limit how the firms set prices with advertisers, it said. Some separation of business units may also be appropriate, the regulator said.

The CMA is joining other European regulators in examining how the online advertising market functions. French and German antitrust authorities have separately been looking at the market, with France’s competition agency flagging the scale of Google’s ad offering and data as a potential concern. Data protection authorities are also scrutinizing the advertising bidding process and how it may share personal information.