The EU Commission is investigating possible violations by Google of applicable EU competition law as part of antitrust proceedings. In the process, the technology company’s applied procedures are being scrutinized.
Focus on advertising
The EU is initiating the proceedings against Google, as they suspect violations of EU competition law here. The EU Commission Vice Margrethe Vestager announced about the investigation: ” We suspect that Google may have made it more difficult for competing online advertising services to participate in competition in the field of advertising technology.” The investigation will also examine whether the methods used to track users are in line with fair competition. The focus of the investigation is particularly in the area of advertising. Google offers its services not only to advertisers, but also to publishers.
Multiple issues to be investigated
The investigation of the Commission will answer several questions, so among other things, how the services of Google, so Display & Video 360, Google Ads, are used, so that advertising on YouTube can be bought. Within the framework of this examination, it will also be checked at once how access to users’ data by competing third parties is restricted. Apart from that, the plans to restrict access to the advertising ID on Android and to abolish third-party cookies in the Chrome browser and replace them with the Floc API will also be examined.
With Floc (Federated Learning of Cohorts), advertising is not individualized, but clusters or groups are formed by means of the users’ interests. Here, the history in the user’s browser is analyzed and thus the groups are created and then passed on using the API. This is being investigated not only by the EU Commission, but also by the US Department of Justice. What will come out of the individual investigations and what consequences this will have is still exciting.