European Union Antitrust Regulators Consider Breakup of Google's Ad-Tech Business

European Union antitrust regulators are reportedly considering a potential breakup of Alphabet Inc.'s Google ad-tech business


European Union antitrust regulators are reportedly considering a potential breakup of Alphabet Inc.'s Google ad-tech business as part of a new antitrust complaint. This move comes as efforts on both sides of the Atlantic aim to curb the search giant's dominant position in digital advertising. In April, Google had previously argued against alleged antitrust law violations by the U.S. Justice Department, highlighting its search dominance. Now, the European Union's imminent complaint follows an investigation launched in 2021, focusing on Google's ad-tech business practices.

Investigation into Google's Ad-Tech Business

The European Union regulators have been conducting an extensive investigation into Google's ad-tech business since 2021. Among the issues examined during the probe is whether Google has excluded competitors from brokering ad buys on its popular video platform, YouTube. The investigation aims to address concerns regarding the search giant's dominance in the digital advertising market.

Potential Divestiture and Remedies

As part of the antitrust case against Google, EU officials are considering the possibility of ordering the company to divest certain portions of its ad-tech business. While the European Commission has the authority to impose remedies other than asset sales, if Google is found guilty of the charges, regulators believe that the company might not be able to make adequate behavioral changes to address their concerns. This marks a noteworthy development, as significant divestitures are relatively uncommon in antitrust cases, which are typically resolved through fines and behavioral modifications.

Trans-Atlantic Antitrust Efforts

The European Union is not the only governing body scrutinizing Google's ad-tech business practices. The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority is also conducting an investigation into the company. The combined efforts of both the EU and the UK reflect a growing determination to challenge Google's dominant position in the digital advertising market.

Impending Antitrust Case

According to reports, the European Union is planning to file an antitrust case against Google's ad-tech business as early as Wednesday. The case signifies a further escalation of regulatory action against the tech giant. Notably, Google has already faced substantial fines totaling over €8 billion, demonstrating the gravity of the regulatory scrutiny it has encountered.

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