The European Commission, today (June 14), outlined a statement of charges against Google for anti-competitive behaviour in an ongoing antitrust investigation of the US Big Tech giant.

In June 2021, the European Commission opened formal proceedings into possible anticompetitive conduct by Google in the online advertising technology sector.

The move could lead to the EU forcing Google to sell part of its advertising-technology business, according to a source who spoke to Reuters.

Now the European Commission has said it takes issue with Google favouring its “own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers”.

Google’s popular services include YouTube, search, email and maps, all of which are offered for free as the company makes money from advertising revenue.

In January 2023, the US launched an ad tech lawsuit against Google.  The US Justice Department demanded Google sell its ad manager suite, having argued that the tech giant illegally abused its advantageous position in online advertising, Reuters reported.

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Google’s parent company, Alphabet, made most of its $60bn in profit, in 2022, from advertising. Divesting its ad business could significantly impact Google’s profit.

Dan Taylor, Google’s vice president of global ads, hit back at regulators saying: “Our advertising technology tools help websites and apps fund their content and enable businesses of all sizes to effectively reach new customers.”

Taylor added: “Google remains committed to creating value for our publisher and advertiser partners in this highly competitive sector. The Commission’s investigation focuses on a narrow aspect of our advertising business and is not new.”