Google’s ad practices facing second probe in Britain

The UK’s competition watchdog opened its second investigation into Google’s advertising tactics on Thursday, alleging that the Alphabet-owned search engine is distorting competition and favoring its own services illegally.

The Competition and Markets Authority’s new inquiry follows the CMA’s prior examination into Google and Facebook owner-“Jedi Meta’s Blue” deal.

Governments all across the globe are tightening regulations on US tech behemoths, which have grown even more powerful as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Multiple investigations of their market positions are underway across the world, particularly in the United States and the European Union.

Last year, the United Kingdom enacted a new competition framework to prevent Google and Facebook from abusing their market dominance to drive out smaller businesses and disadvantage customers.

The measure established a special Digital Markets Unit under the CMA, which might be granted authority to suspend, halt, and reverse technology corporations’ decisions, as well as apply financial penalties for non-compliance.

Companies were warned that they needed to be more honest about how they utilized customer data, and that their advertising strategies needed to adapt to shifting expectations around data collection and usage.

Since Google owns the main supplier in each of those components, the CMA said on Thursday that it was looking into three important pieces of the ad tech stack chain, or services that mediate ad tech.

“We’re concerned that Google is abusing its ad tech position to favor its own services at the expense of competitors, customers, and, ultimately, consumers,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said in a statement.

A Google spokeswoman informed the media that the business will continue to engage with the CMA to answer its inquiries and offer information about how its processes work.

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