Google Urges London Tribunal to Block $17 bn Lawsuit Over Digital Advertising Dominance

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has petitioned a London tribunal to halt a lawsuit alleging the tech giant’s abuse of dominance in the digital advertising market.
Google Play StoreThe lawsuit, seeking damages of up to 13.6 billion pounds or $16.9 billion, is spearheaded by publishers of websites and apps based in the United Kingdom. They claim significant losses resulting from Google’s anticompetitive behavior, Reuters news report said.

Google has generated $61.659 billion revenue from digital advertising business during the first quarter of 2024.

During a three-day hearing commencing Wednesday, lawyers representing Ad Tech Collective Action pressed the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to approve the case for trial. Google rebutted the allegations, asserting the case lacked coherence and failed to delineate how the alleged anticompetitive conduct had inflicted losses upon the publishers.

The legal battle unfolds amidst regulatory scrutiny into Google’s adtech operations, with investigations underway by Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission, the latter of which is reportedly nearing its conclusion.

Robert O’Donoghue, legal counsel for Ad Tech Collective Action, referenced prior multibillion-euro fines levied against Google by the European Commission, including penalties related to its online shopping search service and the mandated pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome browser on Android mobile devices.

Google faces two lawsuits in the United States, one instigated by the Department of Justice and another filed by Texas and several other states, both alleging anticompetitive behavior.

Google’s legal representatives asserted the company’s vehement denial and emphasized its purportedly procompetitive impact on the ad tech industry.

The proposed lawsuit by Ad Tech Collective Action is the latest in a string of legal challenges against tech behemoths heard at the CAT. Earlier this year, the tribunal certified a $3.8 billion case against Facebook parent Meta and a nearly $1 billion case against Apple.

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