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Google faces £3.4 billion lawsuit for lost revenue due to adtech

Google is facing a £3.4 billion lawsuit from publishers for compensation due to lost revenue in relation to adtech. Ex-Guardian technology editor Charles Arthur has put forward the lawsuit, alleging that Google “unlawfully used a dominant position in online adverts in a way that reduced what publishers could make from them”.

It’s not even the first such accusation that Google is facing. In November 2022, Ofcom director Claudio Pollack filed for £13.6 billion in damages for similar loss in revenue for publishers.

The lawsuit from Charles Arthur outlines: “The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is currently investigating Google’s anti-competitive conduct in adtech, but they don’t have the power to make Google compensate those who have lost out. We can only right that wrong through the courts, which is why I am bringing this claim.”

Google told the BBC its 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”.

Advertising technology, or adtech, decides what online advertisements are presented to the user, how much they will cost, and how much publishers will earn, all in a fraction of a second. A culture war is raging in journalism wherein publishers are worried about revenue as physical newspapers and magazines are dumped for online alternatives, lessening profits.

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