The European Commission on Tuesday opened an investigation into Google, alleging that it could be violating EU competition rules with regards to its digital ad technology.
The commission would also investigate whether Google violated the bloc’s rules by unfairly restricting access by third parties to user data for advertising purposes, according to a press release.
“Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetise their online services. Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space and also acts as an online advertising intermediary,” commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager said in a press release.
“So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising. We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack,” she said.
As part of the probe, the EU’s competition watchdog will investigate whether there is an obligation to use Display & Video 360 – a Google service – and Google Ads to place advertisement on YouTube, for example.