Google will face claims for damages of up to €25 billion over its digital advertising practices, in two lawsuits due to be filed in UK and Dutch courts in the coming weeks by a law firm in names of publishers.
Google’s adtech has recently come to the attention of competition regulators, following complaints from publishers.
France’s competition watchdog fined the company 220 million euros last year, while the European Commission and its British counterpart are investigating whether Google’s adtech business gives it a boost. unfair advantage over competitors and advertisers.
“It’s time for Google to face up to its responsibilities and repay the damages it has caused to this important industry. That’s why today we’re announcing these actions in two jurisdictions to seek compensation for publishers in the EU and the UK,” said Damien Geradin. Geradin Partners said in a statement.
Google has criticized the impending lawsuits, saying it is working constructively with publishers across Europe. A spokesperson said:
The UK application to the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal will seek compensation for all website owners running banner advertising, including traditional publishers. Britain has an opt-out regime.
The Dutch complaint is open to publishers affected by Google’s actions. Funder Harbor is funding both lawsuits.