Belgian law firm Gerardine Partners has announced that it will file a joint action in the Netherlands (EU) and the UK against media companies that have been harmed by Google’s anti-competitive behavior in the advertising technology market. In the online advertising market, Google plays a key role in coordinating the sales of online advertising space between advertisers and media companies, and this influence was abused.
“Publishers, including local and national media outlets, play an important role in their communities and have long been harmed by Google’s anti-competitive behavior,” said Damien Gerardin, Gerardin Partners. It was time to take responsibility for the damage and make up for it.
Gerardine Partners is working with British law firm Humphreys Custette to file a class action action in the UK Competition Appeals Court. The UK lawsuit focuses on recovering lost advertising revenue over a period of time due to Google’s anti-competitive behavior. The total amount of damages demanded in the joint suit amounts to 25 billion euros (about 3.5 trillion won).
In particular, since the UK lawsuit is an opt-out method, the victim is automatically recognized as the subject of the lawsuit, so not only large news sites, but also thousands of small and medium-sized sites are included. On the other hand, EU litigation in the Netherlands is an opt-in method, and in order to become a plaintiff, you must apply to participate in the litigation.
Gerardine Partners explained that the EU’s lawsuit is based on a ruling from French regulators. Last year, French antitrust regulators fined Google 220 million euros for favoring its own services in relation to online advertising. Google did not protest the decision, but neither did it promise to revise its relevant mechanisms.
Legal disputes with antitrust regulators are placing a significant burden on Google. The European Union’s Luxembourg court also sided with the European Union in a lawsuit against the EU regulatory body’s 2018 decision on androids. At that time, the European Union Antitrust Agency determined that Google had used Android’s dominance in the smartphone market to strengthen the position of Google’s search engine and Chrome browser in the mobile device environment. It did not, however, cited the decision that Google’s sharing of sales with manufacturers violated fair competition principles. This cut Google’s fine by 5% to 4.13 billion euros.
The Android lawsuit is the largest of a total of €8 billion in fines the European Union has imposed on Google since 2017. Of course, Google still has a chance to appeal, and in the end it can appeal to the European Union Court of Justice.
Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.
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