Google itself is sued twice for what amounts to unfair ad practices related to its digital marketing efforts. In the coming weeks, trials will take place in British and Dutch courts. If Google is guilty of unfair ad practices, the company may need to pay fines of up to $25.4 billion. This amount is equal to more than half of the company’s expected annual earnings for 2022.
In the British case, the people who are suing want to get money from all publishers, digital and print. Whose sites possess banner ads? In contrast, the sole purpose of the Dutch complaint is to compensate publishers who really did lose business as a result of Google’s conduct. Harbour, a well-known company that helps pay for lawsuits, is helping both cases financially.
Again, someone is suing Google because of its ads. French antitrust regulators fined the company €220 million in 2016 for doing things that hurt competition. Since Google’s ad tech gives it an unfair advantage over its advertising competitors. The European Commission and its counterpart in the UK are also looking into it.
The investigation, which began last June, became meant to find out if Google unfairly favors its own online display advertising technology services over those of competitors, advertisers, and publishers.
Attorney and partner at Geradin Partners Damien Geradin say:
It is way past time for Google to take responsibility for what it has done and make up for the damage it has caused to this important part of the economy. That’s why we’re making these announcements in two different places today to seek compensation for publishing companies in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Google defended itself from the legal action by saying that it works well with European publishers. A firm representative said:
This lawsuit is just a way to make money and has nothing to do with reality. When the complaint comes in, we’ll respond quickly and strongly.
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