European Antitrust Investigation of Google Adds Scrutiny of YouTube

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

The European Commission announced its fourth large-scale antitrust investigation into Google, and it appears that the video-sharing platform YouTube is being heavily focused on.

CNBC reports that as the European Commission investigates Google over concerns that it’s favoring its own online display ad technology services, sources now say that Google’s video-sharing platform YouTube is being heavily scrutinized.

As part of its investigation, the commission will examine “in particular” what it described as the “obligation” to use Google services such as the Google Ads platform to purchase online display ads on YouTube. It also stated that it will assess the “obligation” to use Google Ad Manager, a platform that facilitates the purchase and sale of ads across multiple ad networks.

A source familiar with the investigation told CNBC: “YouTube has a strong market position. It is possible that Google makes use of that to favor his services.” The source added that the EU’s investigation is still “very preliminary.”

YouTube’s ads accounted for around $6 billion of Alphabet’s first-quarter revenue in 2021, 11 percent of the firm’s total income for that period.

Tommaso Valletti, a professor at Britain’s Imperial College Business School and former official at the EU’s competition team, told CNBC: “Publishers and ad-tech competitors have complained for years about Google’s ownership of some of the most widely used tools for buying, selling and auctioning ads.”

Valetti added: “They have also criticized Google for both owning and operating its own ad-supported products, such as Google Search and YouTube, saying that creates conflicts of interest that harm competition in online advertising.”

When asked about the applications of the latest probe on YouTube, Stephanie Yon-Courtin, a member of the European Parliament, told CNBC: “It’s time to share data to enable competition and to acknowledge the competitive asset that is accumulation of data.”

She added: “You cannot fund your business model on forcing your business users to use your services, make them pay millions of euros, and keep all the collected and generated data to improve and launch your own new services.”

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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