News Media Europe

European press publishers encouraged by EU antitrust probe into Google ad-tech

Press releases , June 22, 2021


-Brussels, 22 June 2021-

The European Commission opened today an antitrust investigation to assess whether Google is abusing its dominant market position by engaging in anti-competitive self-preferencing to the detriment of publishers and advertisers. The investigation will also consider restrictions placed by Google on access to data by third parties.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director of News Media Europe, said: “Ensuring fair competition in online advertising and ad-tech is urgently needed, not only through the Digital Markets Act, but also through the existing enforcement toolbox. Google’s proposed changes and commitments under the so-called Privacy Sandbox are cause for concern, which the Commission now recognises.”

The French competition authority recently fined Google EUR 220m for abusing its dominant position in ad-tech by engaging in anti-competitive self-preferencing. The Authority made interoperability commitments offered by Google in relation to third party Supply-Side-Platforms (SSPs) binding.

Separately, the United Kingdom competition authority is investigating Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals, and is currently consulting stakeholders on whether certain commitments offered by Google are sufficient to address competition concerns.

For further information, please contact:

Wout van Wijk (Executive Director):

News Media Europe represents the progressive news media industry in Europe – over 2,500 media companies including newspapers, radio, television and internet. News Media Europe is committed to promoting the freedom of the press, enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands, which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.