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User tracking: Alphabet stock drops: EU rivals take action against Google again | Message

The central question here is whether Google has given itself an advantage over competitors in terms of advertising services, distorting the competition.

The Vice-President of the European Union Commission, Margrethe Vestager, confirmed on Tuesday in Brussels that Google collects data for the allocation of ads, the sale of advertising space, and at the same time acts as an intermediary in the placement of ads. This means that Google is involved in almost all levels of the relevant advertising business.

“We suspect that Google may have made it difficult for competing online advertising services to compete in the advertising technology space,” Vestager said. Among other things, competition watchers are investigating the question of whether Google has denied competitor advertisers and advertisers access to information about user behavior that is available for its own services.

The tech giant has been the focus of the European Union Commission for years. Vestager imposed fines totaling $8.25 billion in three cases. Among other things, it was about the Android smartphone operating system and shopping search. Google absorbed the penalties with only minor scratches on the balance sheet. At the same time, the group took action in court.

In the current proceedings, the commission delves into Google’s advertising mechanisms. It is considering, among other things, compelling the use of the company’s own services “Google Ads” or “Display and Video 360” when placing ads on the Google video platform, YouTube of the AdX Advertising Exchange.

In addition, the commission wants to examine Google’s plan to remove so-called cookies from third-party providers in its Chrome web browser and offer a suite of software tools instead.

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Google has already responded to the announcement: The company will continue to work constructively with the European Commission to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European companies and consumers, she said. Thousands of European companies have used Google’s advertising products – ‘because they are competitive and efficient’.

In trading on the Nasdaq, Alphabet paper is now trading 0.23% lower at $2,523.26.

Brussels (dpa-AFX)

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