The British competition authority has launched an investigation into the leading subsidiary of technology giant Alphabet Google for alleged unfair market dominance in online advertising.

This will be the second recent investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into Google advertising.

The CMA will investigate Google’s service to buy and sell ad slots online. The CMA said Google has the largest service provider in all areas of online advertising, including the sale of online advertising space and ad servers that determine what advertising is displayed.

“We are concerned that Google may use its position in advertising technology to benefit its own services to the detriment of its competitors, customers and, ultimately, consumers,” said CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli.

“It is vital that we continue to look closely at the behavior of technology companies that loom over our lives and ensure the best results for people and businesses in the UK.

A Google spokesman said: “We will continue to work with CMA to answer their questions and share details about how our systems work.

“Google’s advertising tools and many competitors help websites and applications fund their content – and help businesses of all sizes reach their customers effectively.”

The spokesman added: “Google’s tools alone have supported £ 55 billion in economic activity for more than 700,000 businesses in the UK – and when publishers decide to use our advertising services, they keep most of the revenue.

If the CMA investigation finds that Google is violating competition law, the regulator will continue the investigation, which could potentially result in a fine of up to 10% of Google’s global turnover.

The UK government wants to expand the powers of its regulators to manage Big Tech. The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) was set up last year with the possible aim of keeping the biggest technology companies under control.

While the DMU, ​​which currently operates illegally outside the CMA, does not have the regulatory powers to carry out its original intention, granting additional powers to it was mentioned as part of the Queen’s speech earlier this month.

Google investigated over online ad dominance by competition watchdog

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