The investigation, which will be led by antitrust regulators, will look at whether Google is illegally blocking competitors’ access to user data, scrutinizing privacy changes that will lead to the phasing out of some cookies, and accessing data for advertisers for the purpose of advertising on “web” sites. and applications, keeping this data for their own use.
According to the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, online advertising services are at the heart of the practices that Google and publishers have put in place to promote their services.
“Google collects data that will be used for targeted advertising, sells ad space and provides intermediate online advertising services,” Vestager tweeted, adding, “Google is present at nearly all levels of the supply chain in relation to online display advertising.”
The European official expressed her organization’s concern that Google has made it “more difficult for competing advertising services, and in this regard, it is the suite of advertising technologies.”
The European Commission confirmed that it will also review Google’s user tracking practices to ensure their compatibility with fair competition, and that it will “evaluate the restrictions that Google has placed on the ability of advertisers, publishers and other third parties to access data related to user identity,” it said.