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EU Probing Google On Possible Violation Of Competition Rules In "ad Tech" Supply Chain - Quick Facts

The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Google has violated EU competition rules by favoring its own online display advertising technology services in the so called "ad tech" supply chain, to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers.

The formal investigation will notably examine whether Google is distorting competition by restricting access by third parties to user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for its own use.

Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising. The Commission is concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.

The Commission is also looking at Google's policies on user tracking to make sure they are in line with fair competition.

The Commission's investigation will focus on display advertising where Google offers a number of services both to advertisers and publishers.

The Commission will take into account the need to protect user privacy, in accordance with EU laws in this respect, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Commission has informed Google and the competition authorities of the Member States that it has opened proceedings in this case.

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