L’Antitrust, Authority of Competition and Market Authority, has initiated an investigation against Google assuming an abuse of dominant position in the wide context of digital advertising with particular reference to display advertising.

The Authority disputes the discriminatory use of big data, which prevents competitors from competing effectively, with strong repercussions on consumers as well.

On 27 October, the Antitrust Authority conducted inspection investigations at Google’s premises, using the cooperation of the Guardia di Finanza military.

As stated in the Antitrust Note, Alphabet’s subsidiary would have infringed Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as regards the availability and use of data for the development of advertising campaigns for display advertising, i.e. the

In the online advertising market, the Antitrust contests the company’s discriminatory use of the huge amount of data collected through its own applications, preventing competing operators in online advertising markets from being able to compete effectively.

What the online adv market is worth For the Antitrust, online advertising in 2019 has registered in Italy a value of over 3.3 billion, which currently represents 22% of the resources of the media sector, and the display advertising alone has a turnover of more than 1.2 billion. In terms of value, online advertising is the second source of revenue in the media sector.

In particular, Google would seem to have put in place an internal-external discrimination course, refusing to provide the decryption keys of the Google ID and excluding third-party tracking pixels.

At the same time, it would have used trace elements that make it possible to make its advertising services capable of achieving a license plate-tag capability that some competitors as efficient are unable to replicate.

Through cookies inserted together with banners, pop-ups or other forms of advertising messages visible during the consultation of a website, explains in the note l.antitrust, it is possible for advertisers, agencies and advertising intermediaries to acquire data relevant for the choice

An arsenal of instruments

In addition to these relevant data, Google continues the antitrust, with tools that allow you to reconstruct in detail the profile of the subjects to be directed advertising messages. It is the Android mobile operating system, installed on most of the smartphones used in Italy, the browser for Chrome mobile devices, for mobile search, the browser for personal Chrome computers, cartography services and

The conducts that will be investigated by the Antitrust seem to have a significant impact on competition in the different markets of the digital advertising chain with wide impact on competitors and consumers.

The absence of competition in the intermediary of digital advertising could reduce the resources allocated to website producers and publishers, thus impoverishing the quality of content directed to end customers.

Moreover, the absence of effective merit-based competition could discourage technological innovation for the development of less invasive consumer advertising technologies and techniques.

Codacons is ready to act

If the Antitrust will be unlawful by Google, the Codacons will take legal action against the web giant on behalf of all Italian users.

This is stated by the association, commenting on the opening of the investigation for abuse of dominant position by the Competition Authority.

The story on which the Antitrust investigates directly affects all Italian users • When a citizen opens a web page is bersagliato by a burst of unsolicited, invasive and harassing

The amount of data on users that the multinational collects through various apps and services is so vast and detailed that it excludes all other market operators and allows the giant to storm citizens with advertising that, as found by the Antitrust, they risk to impoverish the quality

For this reason, if Google is found guilty of wrongdoing, Codacons will promote a collective legal action against the company on behalf of all Italian users who use the internet.

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