Google faces new multi-billion advertising lawsuit

1 month ago 7

Photograph of an entranceway  to Google officesImage source, AFP

By Chris Vallance

Technology reporter

A suit has been filed against Google to question £3.4bn ($4.2bn) successful compensation for publishers for mislaid revenue.

The claim, by ex-Guardian exertion exertion Charles Arthur, alleges Google unlawfully utilized a ascendant presumption successful online adverts successful a mode that reduced what publishers could marque from them.

Google said it would combat the "speculative and opportunistic" enactment vigorously.

It is the 2nd specified lawsuit, aft a akin lawsuit was launched successful November.

That was brought by erstwhile Ofcom manager Claudio Pollack, who is looking for up to £13.6bn successful damages from the tech giant.

The cases interest advertizing exertion - adtech - that decides successful a fraction of a 2nd which online adverts consumers volition see, however overmuch they volition cost, and however overmuch publishers volition earn.

Online show advertizing is the main root of income for galore websites.

The UK contention regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is besides investigating Google's dominance successful advertizing technology.

In the lawsuit, which was filed connected Thursday, Mr Arthur claims that due to the fact that of Google's maltreatment of its position, the prices of adtech services were inflated, and advertisement income revenues of publishers were unlawfully reduced.

"The CMA is presently investigating Google's anti-competitive behaviour successful adtech, but they don't person the powerfulness to marque Google compensate those who person mislaid out. We tin lone close that incorrect done the courts, which is wherefore I americium bringing this claim," helium wrote.

Collective claims

Both ineligible claims inquire the tribunal - the Competition Appeal Tribunal - to certify their claims arsenic "opt-out", meaning each applicable steadfast would beryllium automatically included successful the lawsuit unless they take otherwise.

These are corporate claims, often referred to arsenic a people enactment successful the United States, which lone became imaginable successful the UK successful 2015. Because they are brought connected behalf of a full radical oregon class, the damages tin beryllium precise large.

Unless Mr Arthur and Mr Pollack hold to collaborate, the tribunal volition person to determine which 1 should pb the corporate claim

Many competitors

Google told the BBC its advertizing tools, "and those of our galore adtech competitors, assistance millions of websites and apps money their content, and alteration businesses of each sizes to efficaciously scope caller customers".

Although the CMA recovered that Google owned the largest supplier successful 3 cardinal areas of adtech, the steadfast maintains it has galore competitors. It besides says its adtech fees are little than, oregon match, manufacture averages.

But successful a case launched successful January, the US Justice section accused Google of being an "industry behemoth" that had "corrupted morganatic contention successful the adtech manufacture by engaging successful a systematic run to prehend power of the wide swath of high-tech tools utilized by publishers".

On Tuesday, Google asked a tribunal to disregard the lawsuit - arguing that the US authorities had overstated its clasp connected the market.

In 2021 the French contention regulator, Autorité de la concurrence, fined Google €220m for favouring its ain services successful the online advertizing sector.

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