Alphabet unit Google faces damages claims for up to 25 billion euros ($25.4 billion) over its digital advertising practices in two suits filed in British and Dutch courts on Tuesday by a law firm on behalf of publishers. Google’s adtech has recently drawn scrutiny from antitrust regulators following complaints from publishers.
The French competition watchdog imposed a 220-million-euro fine on the company last year while the European Commission and its UK peer are investigating whether Google’s adtech business gives it an unfair advantage over rivals and advertisers. [ “It is time that Google owns up to its responsibilities and pays back the damages it has caused to this important industry. That is why today we are announcing these actions across two jurisdictions to obtain compensation for EU and UK publishers,” Damien Geradin at law firm Geradin Partners said in a statement.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The British claim at the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal will seek to recover compensation for lost revenue from the sale of advertising space on the websites of news publishers and any site funded by online advertising.
The Dutch claim is open to publishers affected by Google’s actions. Litigation funder Harbour is funding both lawsuits.