Google is reportedly seeking to settle a new antitrust probe by the European Union into its digital advertising practices. Reuters reports the settlement might help the search giant avert another hefty fine that could amount to US$18.2 billion.
In June, the European Commission launched an investigation into Google’s online advertising technology business for possible violations of EU competition rules. Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president in charge of competition policy in the region, stated at the time that Google may be abusing its advertising dominance to make it “harder for rival online advertising services” to compete in this sector.
The EC’s latest investigation focuses on whether Google limits third-party access to “user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for its own use.”
Citing an anonymous source, Reuters says the Alphabet unit made a proposal to the EU, though the specifics of the proposed settlement are unknown at this time. If approved, Google’s settlement will allow it to avoid paying fines of up to 10% of its global revenue.
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