Google wants to offer comparison for EU antitrust investigation on digital advertising

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Alphabet unit Google wants to settle an EU antitrust investigation into its digital advertising business, said a person familiar with the matter, a move that could help avert a disruptive, lengthy investigation and a potentially hefty fine.

EU antitrust proceedings have hit Google over $ 8 billion in three separate cases over the past decade.

The European Commission launched an investigation in June to investigate whether Google would prefer its own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competitors, advertisers and online publishers.

Google has made a proposal to the commission, the person said and declined to provide details because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Commission, which acts as the competition regulator for the 27-country bloc, declined to comment.

Google, the next week in a five-day court hearing with the executor because of his record fine of 4.34 billion euros (approx. Comment.

It remains to be seen whether the European cartel boss Margrethe Vestager is open to settlement talks, which usually take months or even years to reach an agreement, or whether they could stall in the middle.

She has preferred sanctions rather than negotiating a solution in her last three Google cases. A settlement decision would not include a fine or a determination of misconduct.

Google could be fined up to 10 percent of its global sales of $ 18.2 billion (approximately Rs.1.57.370 billion) based on last year’s earnings if found guilty of against Having violated EU antitrust rules.

The supervisory authorities will check whether Google restricts third party access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and in apps, while this data is retained for their own use.

The company’s plan to remove browser cookies and also stop tracking Android users through a tool known as Advertising ID is also being scrutinized.

Last year, Google generated $ 147 billion in online advertising revenue, more than any other company in the world, with ads like Search, YouTube, and Gmail taking the bulk of its total revenue and – make a profit.

About 16 percent of sales come from the company’s display or networking businesses, where other media companies use Google technology to sell ads on their websites and apps.

Research firm eMarketer estimates that Google will capture 30 percent of the global Internet advertising market this year and increase sales by 18 percent to 117 billion US dollars (approx. 8,61,960 billion rupees).

Lawsuits in US advertising litigation against Google by state, state governments and several private companies are unlikely to begin in at least two more years.

Google also recently tried to include another ad sample. In June, it pledged to work closely with UK competition and market regulators to remove tracking cookies from the Chrome browser as the move raises antitrust concerns in the advertising industry.

The regulator is currently considering whether to accept Google’s concessions.

The US and EU plan to work more closely together on regulating big tech at a summit next week.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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