The European Union opened a formal antitrust investigation into allegations Google abuses its leading role in the advertising-technology sector, the European Commission said.
The investigation comes as the EU is preparing new laws to better oversee tech giants by giving them special “gatekeeper” rules more tightly regulating how they can operate, but those will not be implemented for years.
The case opens yet another front by the European Commission against the search engine giant, which was already fined 9 billion dollars for its anti-competitive practices. The Commission said it would investigate whether Google distorts competition by restricting third-party access to user data for ad purposes on websites and apps while reserving such data for its own use.
The European Competition Commissioner said, “We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.”