The European Union (EU) is set to lodge a formal complaint targeting Google’s advertising business, reported Bloomberg, citing sources.

According to sources, the EU could announce the charges as early as 14 June, paving the way for large fines.

About 80% of Google’s annual revenue comes from its advertising business, which in 2022 generated roughly $225bn from ad sales.

One of the sources claimed that the latest complaint is the most serious in the current five-year term of the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority.

A request for comment on the EU’s complaint was not immediately answered by Google. Brussels’ commission declined to respond to questions.

With its ability to gather the information that enables advertisers to target their ads, as well as sell ad space and supply the technology that enables advertisers to locate publishers to sell their space, Google has long held a key position in the industry.

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By GlobalData

However, the authorities are examining how the company may have prevented rivals from accessing user data for online advertising, and it may also have ring-fenced data for its purposes.

If the EU initiates legal action, it will be the latest development in a protracted dispute that has already resulted in three EU fines totalling over €8bn ($8.6bn).

Separately, citing a source aware of the development, Reuters reported that the EU antitrust regulators could order Google’s parent Alphabet to divest a part of its advertising business.

The EU competition enforcer rarely issues break-up orders. However, the insider claimed that dissatisfaction has grown as a result of Google’s failure to address concerns about competition.