Another antitrust case filed in the European Union by a group of publishers has challenged Google’s domination of the internet ad business.
The European Publishers Council (EPC), whose members include the CEOs of News UK, Condé Nast, The New York Times, Axel Springer, and The Guardian, among others, is claiming that, since its 2008 acquisition of ad tech firm DoubleClick, Google has used plenty “unlawful tactics” to preclude any competition in the ad tech space, allowing Google to obtain a “stranglehold” over press publishers.
The EPC seems to be attempting to exert pressure on the European Commission, which has been investigating Google’s ad tech since last summer, but which also waived through Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, allowing the search giant to become a force in online advertising.
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EPC chairman Christian Van Thillo writes the following about its complaint to EU competition regulators:
“It is high time for the European Commission to impose measures on Google that actually change, not just challenge, its behavior — behaviour that has caused and continues to cause considerable harm, not just to Europe’s press publishers but to all advertisers and eventually consumers in the form of higher prices (including ad tech fees), less choice, less transparency and less innovation.
He further added –
“This Complaint presents a unique opportunity for the European Commission to rectify the problems that have arisen as a direct result of its 2008 clearance of the Google/DoubleClick merger, by imposing effective remedies that will restore competition in ad tech, for the benefit of European press publishers, marketers, and consumers.”
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