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  • Writer's pictureEPC

EPC welcomes claim for damages from Google for their anticompetitive behaviour in “ad tech”

On 28 February, a coalition of more than 30 European media organisations from 17 countries initiated a legal action against Google, seeking damages of around EUR 2.1 billion. The claim pertains to Google’s anticompetitive behaviour in “ad tech”, the various technologies behind online advertising. The lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

 

Google’s abuses have been noted and documented by several European authorities. In 2021, the French competition authority found that Google had abused its dominant position in ad tech by favouring its own tools over those of its competitors, to the detriment of website publishers. In 2023, the European Commission issued a statement of objections in relation to the same conduct, which is also at the centre of significant legal challenges brought by the State Attorneys General and the Department of Justice in the USA.

 

The European media organisations have decided to consolidate their claims for compensation against one of the largest global corporations, which has for many years exploited its dominant position in the market. The coalition has chosen to file a lawsuit against Google in the Netherlands, a key jurisdiction for antitrust damages claims in Europe. This centralised approach eliminates the necessity for multiple claims in different European countries, with the risk of inconsistencies and spiralling costs.

 

The media companies involved have incurred losses due to a less competitive market, which is a direct result of Google’s misconduct. Without Google’s abuse of its dominant position, the media companies would have received significantly higher revenues from advertising and paid lower fees for ad tech services. Crucially, these funds could have been reinvested into strengthening the European media landscape.

The coalition of media companies operates in 17 European countries and includes some of Europe’s biggest news media outlets as well as many smaller regional papers.

 

The case is brought by European law firm Geradin Partners (Brussels, London, Amsterdam) and Amsterdam-based firm Stek.

 

Download the full statement and list of claimants below.

 
NL Ad tech - Press release writ of summons - FOR DISTRIBUTION
.pdf
Download PDF • 202KB

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