Italian Competition Authority investigates Google for alleged abuse of dominant position

The European Publishers Council (EPC) has welcomed the Italian Competition Authority’s investigation against Google for an alleged abuse of dominant position.

The Authority questions the discriminatory use of the huge amount of data collected through its various applications, preventing rivals from competing effectively as well as adversely affecting consumers.

In particular, the authority is focusing on the availability and use of data for the design of display advertising campaigns, i.e. the space that publishers make available for the display of advertising content. Because Google has unparalleled tracking capability, their own advertising services have a targeting capability that some equally efficient competitors are unable to replicate.

EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “We welcome this new probe. Competition authorities in quite a few countries now are circling round the mega platforms and, on the basis of serious and deep investigations, closing in on their abusive practices in data collection.

"Google is dominant on both the buy side and the sell side of advertising and, through their unrivalled position and data colonisation, they are able to leverage the system to their own advantage. This disadvantages publishers and ultimately their readers as less advertising revenue leads to less investment in journalism resulting in a damaging and long-term impact on media plurality".

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