Google offers to let ad rivals place YouTube ads in EU probe

Google parent Alphabet has offered to let rival ad intermediaries place ads on YouTube to address a crucial part of an EU antitrust investigation that could pave the way for it to settle the case without a fine, Reuters news report said.
YouTube videos
The European Commission opened a probe last year to examine whether the world’s largest provider of search and video was giving itself an unfair advantage in digital advertising by restricting rivals’ and advertisers’ access to user data.

The EU competition watchdog singled out Google’s requirement that advertisers use its Ad Manager to display ads on YouTube and potential restrictions on the way in which rivals serve ads on YouTube.

It is also looking into Google’s requirement that advertisers use its services Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to buy YouTube ads. YouTube posted $6.9 billion in sales in the first quarter of this year.

The Commission and Google, which has previously said publishers and advertisers often use multiple technologies and platforms to sell ads, declined to comment.

Google has been discussing remedies with the Commission since last year in a bid to avert a fine that could reach 10 percent of its global turnover.

The company will, however, need to offer more than just the YouTube remedy to address other concerns in order to get a deal.

The British competition agency CMA is also investigating Google’s ad practices.

Last year, Google generated $147 billion in revenue from online ads, more than any other company in the world, with ads including search, YouTube and Gmail accounting for the bulk of its overall sales and profit.

The company’s display or network business, in which other media companies use Google technology to sell ads on their website and apps, accounted for about 16 percent of its revenue.

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