Google faces EU antitrust investigation over its advertising business

The formal investigation, which follows a preliminary probe that began in 2019, will examine whether Google (GOOGL) is distorting competition by restricting access to user data for advertising purposes, while reserving such data for its own use, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

“Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space and also acts as an online advertising intermediary. So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising,” EU chief antitrust official Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.”

A Google spokesperson said that the company would engage constructively with the European Commission “to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European businesses and consumers.”

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