Over 30 European news publishers are taking legal action against Google over its ad tech behaviours, including Axel Springer and Schibsted

The publishers have filed a claim seeking over €2.1bn ($2.3bn) in damages. 

The European Commission started antitrust proceedings against Google in 2023 after the French competition authority ruled that Google’s advertising business was anti-competitive.

The publishers will be represented by legal firm Geradin Partners alongside the Dutch litigation firm Stek. 

“The media companies involved have incurred losses due to a less competitive market, which is a direct result of Google’s misconduct,” read a statement issued by Geradin Partners. 

“Without Google’s abuse of its dominant position, the media companies would have received significantly higher revenues from advertising and paid lower fees for ad tech services. Crucially, these funds could have been reinvested into strengthening the European media landscape” it read. 

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GlobalData’s 2023 thematic intelligence report on tech regulation, noted that Google was among the top three companies who received the highest regulatory fines over its business practices.   

In the last decade Google faced regulatory fines totaling $13.9bn. However, this total amounts to only five percent of Google’s total revenue in 2022 alone at $282.2bn.

GlobalData noted that high fines were often not enough to enforce behavioral changes within tech companies, leading to the possible rise of ex-ante (before action) regulations that seek to stop companies from being able to act in an anticompetitive manner.