Google sued by British website publishers over ad position

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Google is no stranger to lawsuits or investigations; there are probably more than we’ll ever know about. The latest lawsuit in the news comes to us from across the pond. A group of British publishers is suing Google and its parent company Alphabet, for abusing its position in the online advertising space. The group claims that this has caused a loss of revenue for them.

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The papers for the lawsuit were filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The lawsuit comprises 130,000 businesses that publish approximately 1.75 million websites and apps in Britain. According to Reuters, Google dismissed the lawsuit in an emailed statement.

“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,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Alphabet is no stranger to antitrust lawsuits as they have been hit by many in the past that have resulted in fines. But the penalties don’t seem to change anything besides putting dollars into government coffers. Toby Starr represents the firm leading the claim and had this to say.

Toby Starr, a partner at Humphries Kerstetter which is leading the claim, said multiple investigations into Google’s advertising practices were under way.

“However, none of these regulatory actions will do anything to compensate the UK publishers of thousands of websites and mobile apps who have lost billions in advertising revenue because of Google’s actions,” he said. “The only way to recoup these losses is through a competition class action.”

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