In the coming weeks, lawsuits against Google are expected to be launched in the British and Dutch courts. Google might face fines totaling €25 billion (about $25.4 billion) as a result of the two legal actions. The complaints, according to Reuters, claim that Google has been engaging in deceptive advertising tactics.
The following statement was made on behalf of publishers impacted by Google’s alleged actions by the legal firm Geradin Partners.
It is time that Google owns up to its responsibilities and pays back the damages it has caused to this important industry. This is why today we are announcing these actions across two jurisdictions to obtain compensation for EU and UK publishers.”
The impending cases were criticised by Google, which said that it collaborates constructively with publishers across Europe.
A Google spokesperson commented on the situation stating :
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. These services adapt and evolve in partnership with those same publishers. This lawsuit is speculative and opportunistic. When we receive the complaint, we’ll fight it vigorously.”
The British lawsuit filed with the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal aims to obtain reimbursement for all website owners who display banner ads, including conventional publishers.
According to estimates from attorneys, the combined lawsuits seek damages of up to €25 billion. Civil lawsuits funding companies in the UK and the Netherlands are sponsoring the lawsuits in exchange for a portion of the winnings.
In 2020, the parent company of Google generated $147 billion from online advertisements, 16% of which came from services that allowed online publishers to utilise Google’s ad technology to sell and show advertisements on their websites.
Competition watchdogs in Europe have historically criticised Google’s ad tech division. The lawsuit raises concerns towards Google’s advertisement policies causing discontent amongst users.