In a new development, Google’s ad technology business faces potential breakup, not just in the U.S. but now in Europe too. The European Union’s antitrust authorities are reportedly moving in the same direction as their American counterparts, by considering a breakup of Google’s ad technology business.
The discussions are in the early stages, but they mark a significant shift in the approach that European regulators have taken so far. Until now, they have generally preferred fines over structural changes. But the prospect of a breakup signals a more aggressive stance towards large tech companies, mirroring actions taken by U.S. authorities.
The move comes in the wake of a rising tide of criticism against Google’s dominance in the ad technology market. Critics argue that Google’s control over the tools used for buying and selling online ads, along with its own ad platforms, creates an unfair advantage. This dominance, they say, stifles competition and negatively impacts advertisers, publishers, and consumers alike.
If the breakup does occur, it would represent a landmark decision, with far-reaching implications for the tech industry. It would also continue a trend of increasing regulatory scrutiny of big tech companies. Both in the U.S. and Europe, regulators are demonstrating a growing willingness to take strong action to prevent these companies from abusing their market power.