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British investigation into Google after publishers and advertising companies complaints

Google’s plans would allow advertisers to use less targeted ads. This could make it more difficult for other companies to compete with Google, itself the largest player in the field of online advertising, says the British regulator.

Google wants to build a so-called ‘privacy sandbox’ into Chrome, the most used browser worldwide. As a result, cookies from other companies would no longer work properly. Google’s move wouldn’t take full effect until next year.

Publishers complain

Publishers and advertising companies complained to the CMA in November that they would not be able to gather information about web users. They fear that they will lose up to 75 percent of their sales as a result.

Google’s plans follow after Apple had already disabled the use of cookies in its Safari browser. Firefox also focuses explicitly on privacy.

Tracking Cookies

Google was criticized for taking two years to implement the plans. Critics pointed out that Google itself also has a lot to gain from working cookies and user tracking.

Internet users are sometimes followed at a detailed level by means of tracking cookies. This allows advertisers to offer them very specific advertisements.

The Google investigation is one of the CMA’s first since Brexit. Previously, investigations into competition cases were conducted through the European Commission. Google has also repeatedly tackled this in recent years because of abuse of its dominant position.

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