Canadian Watchdog Probes Google Over Advertising Dominance

The Canadian Competition Bureau has started a new investigation into whether Google is engaged in anti-competitive behaviour in Canada. The probe focuses on the way ads are sold on its YouTube platform and how the tech giant’s dominance might reduce competition elsewhere in the “ecosystem” of online advertising.

“Specifically, the Commissioner is investigating whether Google is leveraging its market power in the supply of in-stream video advertising space into adjacent advertising technology markets,” Stéphanie Guitard, a senior competition law officer at the bureau, said in affidavit filed in Federal Court this week.

In 2016 a probe into Google’s online search and search advertising was shelved by the Canadian competition watchdog.

The latest inquiry by the Canadian competition watchdog, first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, an online Ottawa news outlet, was launched in December. According to documents filed in court as part of a process to gather information on the matter from Google, it is focusing on different conduct and more recent developments. These include the “circumstances and motivations for Google’s decision to withhold YouTube video ad inventory” from certain third parties beginning in 2016, according to the documents.

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