Google met with €25bn lawsuit in UK and EU for anticompetitive adtech practices

Google is met with a €25bn ($25.4bn) lawsuit in the UK and EU following accusations of the abuse of its dominant position in the online advertising market.

Google’s practices and possible unfair advantage in the digital advertising market have yet again come under scrutiny in multiple countries.

"It is time that Google owns up to its responsibilities and pays back the damages it has caused to this important industry. That is why today we are announcing these actions across two jurisdictions to obtain compensation for EU and UK publishers," Damien Geradin at law firm Geradin Partners said in a statement on Tuesday.

The French competition watchdog already issued a €220 million ($223.9 million) fine last year during the investigation of its ad tech practices.

“Publishers, including local and national news media who play a vital role in our society, have long been harmed by Google’s anticompetitive conduct,” Geradin added.

Google’s spokesperson called the complaint “opportunistic,” arguing that the company works constructively with publishers across Europe.

“These services adapt and evolve in partnership with those same publishers. This lawsuit is speculative and opportunistic. When we receive the complaint, we’ll fight it vigorously.”

The EU’s claim to be filled in the Dutch court will be “opt in,” requiring an application for would-be claimants to join, while the UK’s claim will be “opt out,” suggesting that affected parties will be included automatically.

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