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European Publishers Complain to Regulators Over Google Ad Tech

Some of Europe’s biggest news publishers have submitted a formal complaint with the European Commission over Google’s digital advertising business as pressure continues to mount on regulators to break up the company’s stranglehold of the ad tech sector. Germany’s Axel Springer, Conde Nast International and Rupert Murdoch’s News UK are members of the European Publishers Council which filed the...

Some of Europe’s biggest news publishers have submitted a formal complaint with the European Commission over Google’s digital advertising business as pressure continues to mount on regulators to break up the company’s stranglehold of the ad tech sector.

Germany’s Axel Springer, Conde Nast International and Rupert Murdoch’s News UK are members of the European Publishers Council which filed the antitrust complaint with the Commission. The EPC said it wants the Commission to “impose measures on Google that actually change, not just challenge its behavior.”

Google said publishers benefit from its adtech services. “When publishers choose to use our advertising services, they keep the majority of revenue and every year we pay out billions of dollars directly to the publishing partners in our ad network,” a Google spokesperson said.

The European Commission launched an official investigation into Google’s dominance of the ad tech industry last year. It’s one of several major fronts that Google is facing against regulators and lawmakers around the world that could have far-reaching consequences for the company’s core advertising business.

But the most immediate challenge appears to be in the United States. A coalition of states led by Texas have sued Google, accusing the company of manipulating the price and operations of ad auctions. Meanwhile, The Information recently revealed a bipartisan group of US senators are working on new laws which could effectively force Google to sell or spin off parts of its digital ad business.

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