Google may receive an official antitrust complaint from the European Union. This is reported by Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation.
That could pave the way for hefty fines and hit the bottom line of ad tech, which generates most of the company’s revenue. Google’s advertising business now accounts for about 80% of the company’s annual revenue. Last year, advertising sales amounted to approximately $225 billion.
It is expected that relevant charges may be announced in the near future. They will target the core of the ad tech giant’s business model.
According to one of the agency’s employees, the new complaint is the most significant for the five-year mandate of the European Commission. It will mean another escalation of the long-running “saga”, which has resulted in several fines from the EU amounting to more than 8 billion euros.
The EU first launched an investigation into Google’s advertising technology in 2021. The commission is looking into how the company could have prevented competitors from accessing user data for online advertising, as well as how it could have locked away the data for its own use.
Google is challenging the fines imposed by the EU in the courts. This includes, in particular, a fine of 4.34 billion euros for the way the company uses the Android mobile operating system. Last year, EU judges reduced the fine to 4.125 billion euros but Google is challenging the decision in the bloc’s highest court.