Google today was reportedly hit by a new class action lawsuit in the United Kingdom, accusing Google of abusing its dominant position in the online advertising business and claiming 3.4 billion pounds (about $4.2 billion(currently about RMB 28.934 billion).
The class action was launched by Charles Arthur, former technology editor of the British newspaper The Guardian, on behalf of publishers, accusing Google of illegally using its dominant position in online advertising to reduce the revenue publishers can earn from those ads.
In response, Google said it would vigorously combat such “speculative” behavior.
The case is the second such lawsuit Google has faced since November last year. At the time, Claudio Pollack, the former director of Ofcom, filed a similar lawsuit against Google, demanding that it pay up to 13.6 billion pounds (about $16.8 billion (currently about RMB 115.736 billion) in damages.
Both cases involve Google’s advertising technology, which determines in less than a second which online ads consumers will see, how much they will spend, and how much revenue publishers will receive. Such online display ads are a major source of revenue for many websites.
The UK antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is currently investigating Google’s dominant position in advertising technology.
In a lawsuit filed today, Arthur said, “The CMA is currently investigating Google for anti-competitive conduct in the area of advertising technology, but they do not have the power to require Google to compensate those who have suffered significant losses. Therefore, we can only right this wrong through the courts, which is why I am filing this lawsuit.”
And Google said, “Our advertising tools, and the tools that are our many ad tech competitors, are helping millions of websites and apps to fund their content and enable businesses of all sizes to effectively reach new customers.
In addition to the U.K., the U.S. Justice Department in January accused Google of engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of a wide range of high-tech tools used by publishers, thereby undermining fair competition in the ad-tech industry. But yesterday, Google asked a court to dismiss the case, saying the U.S. government had exaggerated its control over the market.
In addition, back in 2021, France’s antitrust regulator, the Autorité de la concurrence, fined Google 220 million euros (about $230 million, (currently about RMB 1.648 billion) for The fine was imposed on Google for favoring its own services in the field of online advertising.