Google has been the world's most powerful player in the advertising technology space for years and years. Its advertising operations have been the most profitable, accounting for roughly 80% of the company's annual revenue. Its ad sales reached $225 billion in 2022.
While phenomenally growing on one end, the supremacy of Google in online advertising has been increasingly called into question in recent years. Complaints from competitors about its supposedly anti-competitive practises have resulted in antitrust inquiries on multiple continents.
And, now, According to Bloomberg, Google is facing an official antitrust issue from the European Union, which could result in new penalties and a strike against the advertising technology that drives the majority of its revenue.
The declaration of objections, which could be issued this week, will be the latest twist in a long-running story that has already resulted in three EU fines totalling over €8 billion.
Google declined to reply to a request for comment on the matter.
The penalties for infringements of antitrust under EU rules may exceed up to 10% of global sales, though penalties rarely reach that level, and companies have the capacity to represent themselves both before and after penalties are imposed.
To put it in detail, the European Commission launched its first investigation into Google's ad tech practises in 2021.
The open bidding programme by Google and Meta Platforms had initially been part of the investigation, but it was dropped in the last months of 2022. However, the probe was expanded after the Portuguese rivalry authority filed additional proof in September 2022.
It should be noted that the search engine behemoth is also facing another lawsuit in the United States for its actions.