Thu, 30 Jun 2022

LONDON, England: The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has launched its second investigation into the advertising sales practices of Google.

According to the authority, Google, owned by Alphabet, could be conducting anti-competitive practices and may have illegally favored its own services.

The latest probe follows an investigation earlier this year into an agreement signed by Google and Facebook.

As the U.S. tech giants became more powerful during the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have been strengthening their regulations through multiple international investigations into their market positions, including in the U.S. and the EU.

In 2021, the UK put in place a new policy covering competition to prevent Google and Facebook from pushing out smaller advertising firms.

The policy created a dedicated Digital Markets Unit within the Competition and Markets Authority which can suspend, block and reverse decisions made by technology firms and impose financial penalties for non-compliance.

Under the new regulations, major tech companies must become more transparent about their collection and use of consumer data, and adapt their advertising practices accordingly.

This week, the Competition and Markets Authority said it was examining three key parts of the ad tech stack chain, the services that mediate ad tech, as Google owned the largest provider in each of those components.

In a statement, Competition and Markets Authority Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said, "We are worried that Google may be using its position in ad tech to favor its own services, to the detriment of its rivals, of its customers and ultimately of consumers."

Google will continue to work with the Competition and Markets Authority to answer its questions and share the details on how the company's systems work, a Google spokesperson told Reuters.

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