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On 7 June 2021, the French competition authority ( “Autorité de la Concurrence” or “ADLC”) imposed a EUR 220 million fine on Google for abuse of its dominant position in the AdTech market.
The ADLC found that from 1 January 2014 until (at least) 30 September 2020, Google had infringed EU competition law inter alia by having its ad server for publishers giving preference to its own supply side platform (or “SSP”) to the detriment of its competitors.
In its decision, the ADLC highlighted that:
“the reported practices are likely to affect the structure of competition throughout the European Economic Area (hereinafter "EEA") by restricting competition between providers of ad servers for publishers and platforms for selling advertising space within the EEA. Finally, Google implemented the reported practices throughout the EEA.”
Google did not dispute the facts and, as part of the settlement reached with the ADLC, also accepted to make several commitments to remedy the restriction of fair competition.
The ADLC decision now provides a basis for Google’s competitors and clients in the AdTech market to claim compensation for the losses they suffered as a result of Google’s abuse. The ADLC decision can be relied upon by claimants to establish Google’s misconduct.
The AdTech market is highly interconnected. What happens on one side of the market is highly likely to impact the other side. And Google is present on all parts of this market. Publishers, ad servers and operators of SSPs (supply-side platforms) but also other market participants, e.g. ad exchanges, demand side platforms (“DSPs”) or advertisers, can claim compensation to the extent that their losses were caused by the behaviour sanctioned in the ADLC decision.
Deminor is working on funding litigation for the benefit of AdTech companies to claim compensation while relying on the ADLC decision. This includes Deminor providing litigation funding and support services on a “no win, no fee” basis. Deminor has extensive experience in funding and supporting both individual and collective recovery actions.
If you (believe to) have suffered losses in relation to Google’s abuse of dominant position in the AdTech market, please register your interest HERE. One of our experts will reach out to you to discuss with you. Any contact between you and Deminor will be considered as strictly confidential and can be covered by a confidentiality agreement. By expressing your interest to discuss with Deminor you are not obliged to work with us. Any funding from Deminor will be subject to a separate contract.
In addition to this decision from the ADLC , the European Commission confirmed in June 2021 that it had launched an investigation:
“To assess whether Google has violated EU competition rules by favouring its own online display advertising technology services in the so called “ad tech” supply chain, to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers”.
Deminor is also monitoring these developments at European level.