Google would allow third-party advertising platforms on YouTube

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As regulators in Europe continue to crack down on Big Tech, Google will allow third-party ad platforms on YouTube in a possible bid to settle an antitrust investigation without paying a fine, according to a Reuters report on Monday.

The shares of the company would be linked to a ongoing antitrust investigation by the European Union on whether Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which also owns YouTube, gave itself an unfair advantage in digital advertising by blocking third-party advertising platforms from accessing user data. EU said Google’s demand for advertisers to use Ad Manager and Display & Video 360, the company’s ad exchange platform, limits rivals in the types of ads shown on YouTube .

“We have engaged constructively with the European Commission. We have nothing further to share at this stage,” Google spokeswoman Allie Bodack said in a statement. “As with the Privacy Sandbox initiative, we are committed to working with regulators and the wider industry to achieve the best possible results.”

If Google is forced to pay the fine, it could reach 10% of its worldwide turnover, or its total turnover. For such a company, 10% would be in the tens of billions of dollars. In 2021, Alphabet brought in $257 billion in revenue. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, the company announced $68 billion in sales thanks in large part to Google search.

The European Commission’s survey coincides with a 2020 antitrust lawsuit by the Department of Justice and a subsequent investigation into the company’s ad technology activities. Earlier this year, the UK Competition and Markets Authority launched a second investigation into Google’s advertising technology practices and its dominance in online ad sales.

This is part of the ongoing scrutiny Big Tech faces over potentially monopolistic practices. The US Senate aims to pass the US Online Choice and Innovation Act before the midterm elections, legislation that would prevent Amazon, Apple and Google from favoring their own platforms. If Democrats are unable to pass the bill this session, it is uncertain whether Republicans will take control of Congress to reintroduce the legislation.

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