By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators are poised to open another front against Alphabet’s (NASDAQ 🙂 unit, Google, by launching a formal investigation into its digital advertising practices, people familiar with the matter said. the move is likely to occur before the end of the year.
A European Commission investigation could pose the biggest threat to Google, which made $ 147 billion in online ad revenue last year, more than any other company in the world.
Ads on its own properties, including search, YouTube and Gmail, accounted for the bulk of sales and profits. About 16% of the revenue came from its display or networking business, in which other media companies use Google technology to sell ads on their websites and applications.
The Commission declined to comment. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a questionnaire sent to Google rivals and third parties earlier this year and seen by Reuters, the EU watchdog asked whether advertisers receive refunds when they use Google intermediaries that allow advertisers or media agencies to buy advertising inventory. from many sources.
In the last decade, the EU competition enforcer imposed fines totaling 8.25 billion euros ($ 9.8 billion) on the world’s most popular internet search engine to block rivals in online shopping, Android smartphones and online advertising.
($ 1 = 0.8399 euros)
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