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Media Giants Clash with Google in €2.1 Billion Lawsuit

Media Giants Clash with Google in €2.1 Billion Lawsuit

A consortium of 32 European media organizations, including prominent names like Axel Springer (Germany) and Schibsted (Norway), has filed a lawsuit against Google, seeking €2.1 billion in damages. The lawsuit accuses the tech giant of abusing its dominant market position in the online advertising space, leading to significant financial losses for the media companies. This legal battle could have far-reaching consequences for Google and the future of online advertising in Europe.

The Accusations: A Less Competitive Landscape

The media groups allege that Google’s practices in digital advertising create an unfair and non-competitive environment. They specifically point to:

  • Opaque and preferential treatment: Google, through its control of various ad tech platforms like AdX and DoubleClick, allegedly favors its own advertising products over those of competitors. This practice, the media companies claim, limits their ability to effectively monetize their content and reduces competition in the market.
  • Data manipulation and anti-competitive practices: The lawsuit further alleges that Google manipulates data and uses its access to user information to gain an unfair advantage in the ad market. This, they argue, harms competition and hinders the growth of independent publishers.
  • Reduced advertising revenue: As a consequence of these practices, the media organizations claim they have experienced significant financial losses due to decreased advertising revenue. They argue that Google’s dominance has made it difficult for them to compete effectively in the digital advertising landscape.

A History of Scrutiny

This lawsuit comes amidst a backdrop of ongoing scrutiny of Google’s business practices, particularly in Europe. In 2021, the French competition authority fined Google €220 million for similar anti-competitive practices in the ad tech market. The European Commission has also launched an antitrust investigation against Google, focusing on its dominant position in online advertising.


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