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Google ‘predatory’ advertising practices probe expanded by Canada’s antitrust watchdog

Canada’s antitrust watchdog has expanded its investigation into whether Google’s online advertising business engages in predatory pricing.

As part of the Competition Bureau’s investigation, which expands on an investigation that first began in 2020, law enforcement obtained an order from the Federal Court of Canada requiring Google to produce relevant records and written information. According to the Wall Street Journal.

In October 2021, the Competition Bureau issued the first court order related to its investigation into Google’s conduct in the online display advertising market, asking whether Alphabet’s subsidiary was “hindering the success of its competitors” and driving up prices as a result. I asked you to decide. The Journal reported.

Canada’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Bureau, has expanded on an investigation it launched in 2020. The agency announced Thursday that it will investigate whether Google engages in predatory pricing practices that stifle competition. Denizen – Stock.adobe.com

The agency also announced Thursday that it is investigating whether Google is using its market power across display advertising technology services to stifle competition.

Additionally, the Competition Bureau is investigating Google’s potentially predatory pricing, the paper said. This is a strategy often deployed to undermine rivals by setting very low prices.

“The investigation is ongoing and no conclusions regarding wrongdoing have been reached at this time,” the agency said in a statement.

“The ad technology industry is competitive and constantly evolving, reducing costs and increasing consumer choice,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the Post.

“We continue to engage constructively with the Competition Bureau of Canada to demonstrate the benefits of our products to Canadian businesses and consumers,” the spokesperson added. “Canadian businesses choose to use our advertising products because they are effective and reliable in helping them reach customers and grow.”

The Competition Bureau announced the expansion of its investigation on Thursday. X/@CompBureau

The Competition Bureau investigation will bring Google under increased scrutiny from other organizations around the world.

On Wednesday, the Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant was hit with a $2.3 billion lawsuit from media giant Axel Springer and 31 other publishers, alleging the search giant’s practices in digital advertising cost them millions. I was visited.

The group’s move, which includes publishers from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden, comes as European antitrust regulators crack down on Google’s ad tech. It was held in the middle of the day. work.

Media companies’ attorneys at Geradin Partners and Stek Lawyers said in a statement obtained by the Post that “the media companies involved have suffered losses due to reduced market competitiveness, which is a direct result of Google’s illegal actions.” This is a great result.”

“Importantly, these funds could have been reinvested to strengthen Europe’s media environment.”

They cited the opinion of the French competition authority. Approximately $240 million in fines To Google regarding the ad tech business in 2021, European Commission indictment last year to strengthen their group’s claims.

Google said it “firmly” disagrees with the allegations and called the lawsuit “speculative and opportunistic.”

Similarly, Sundar Pichai’s company Last year, it said it did not agree to violate EU antitrust laws. The company is involved in both the buy and sell sides of the ad tech business.

The European Union, which introduced tougher regulations on Big Tech companies than U.S. authorities under the Digital Services Act that took effect earlier this month, also slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust suit in 2017 for market abuse related to shopping services. Fines were imposed for violating the law.

The agency expanded its investigation a day after Alphabet Inc.’s Google, both headed by Sundar Pichai, was hit with a $2.3 billion lawsuit brought by 32 media groups across Europe. AFP (via Getty Images)

For a year since then, Google has been trying to avoid the fine, but the European Supreme Court last month struck down the company’s last-ditch effort to avoid paying, dealing a potential blow to the world’s most popular internet search engine. Gave.

Meanwhile, Google has been embroiled in a “historic” legal battle with the US Department of Justice, which claims the company has exercised illegal “monopoly power” and “harmed consumers.”

Throughout the trial, which began last month, the Justice Department has sought to expose Google’s shady tactics and anticompetitive practices.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is scheduled to issue a ruling in May.

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