Google alone faces EU antitrust charges over its adtech business.

BRUSSELS, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Alphabet’s ( GOOGL.O ) unit Google could face antitrust charges over its digital advertising business next year as European Union regulators are frustrated by the slow pace of settlement talks with the company, people familiar with the matter said. Thursday.

Google’s ad business is Alphabet’s biggest moneymaker, accounting for 80% of annual revenue, despite efforts over the past decade to sell hardware, subscription services and cloud computing technology.

The European Union Commission launched an investigation into Google’s adtech business in June last year amid concerns that the US tech giant may be gaining an unfair advantage over its rivals and advertisers.

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The company, which risked a fourth billion-euro fine, wanted to settle the case, but offers were small and very preliminary, one of the people said. Google has collected more than 8 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in EU antitrust fines over the past decade.

The European Union’s competition watchdog could issue the case early next year, although the timing could still change, one of the people said.

The commission declined to comment. Google, the world’s top online ad seller ahead of Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platform Inc ( META.O ), had no comment.

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Reporting by Fo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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