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$2.3 Billion Lawsuit Filed Against Google

$2.3 Billion Lawsuit Filed Against Google

Sarah Hardacre March 18, 2024
March 18, 2024
Over 30 European news agencies have filed a lawsuit against Google claiming damages of $2.3 billion.

The news outlets and publishers, which include Axel Springer and Schibsted, are from 17 European countries. The media companies allege that Google’s practices in the advertising market have caused them to suffer losses, with lawyers claiming that “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.”

The claimants have come together to avoid multiple lawsuits in multiple countries and filed their claim in a Dutch court. They are represented by legal firms Gerardin Partners and Stek.

Google opposes the lawsuit and calls it “speculative and opportunistic.” Oliver Bethell, Google’s legal director, went on record stating that “Google works constructively with publishers across Europe – our advertising tools, and those of our many adtech competitors, help millions of websites and apps fund their content, and enable businesses of all sizes to effectively reach new customers.”

Others in the group of media outlets include Austria’s Krone, Belgian groups DPG Media and Mediahuis, Denmark’s TV2 Danmark A/S, Finland’s Sanoma, Poland’s Agora, Spain’s Prensa Iberica, and Switzerland’s Ringier.

This lawsuit references a 2021 antitrust case when the French competition authority fined Google $270 million and obliged Google to change its advertising practices and tools.

This suit also follows charges made by the European Commission (EC) against Google last year. The EC claimed Google has anticompetitive practices and requested that Google to sell part of its ad tech business. Google disagreed with the charges.

Google is the largest digital advertising platform in the world with 28% of the global market share in ad revenue. Google’s ad revenue represents nearly 80% of its overall revenue. Following the announcement of the lawsuit, Google shares dropped by more than 2%.

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