Regulatory policy

German media publishers petition EU competition chief against Google’s new cookie policy – JURIST

The Financial Times reported on Monday that hundreds of German publishers, advertisers, media outlets and industry groups had filed a 108-page complaint with the European Union’s competition commissioner, claiming that Google’s plan to replacing third-party cookies with alternatives to ad tracking violated EU competition law. .

They are concerned that this action will have a critical impact on advertisers, publishers and intermediaries, who will no longer be able to track user preferences and lose a significant amount of advertising revenue. According to a report by the UK competition watchdog, which has been investigating Google’s proposals to remove third-party cookies since last year, such changes by Google could cost online publishers up to 70% of their income. EU officials have previously expressed concern that Google is abusing its lofty bargaining position to gain an unfair advantage over rivals, which recently led to a €2.42 billion fine in November. last by the General Court of the EU.

The complaint sent Monday asks that publishers “remain in a position where they are allowed to ask their users for consent to process data, without Google capturing this decision” and that “Google must respect the relationship between publishers and users without interfering”. Google told the Financial Times that most browsers are already moving away from third-party cookies and that the company will implement its new cookie policy “in consultation with technical standards bodies, regulators and industry, while by proposing new alternative technologies”.

Earlier this month, the French data protection authority fined Google €210 million after finding that its cookie policy violated the General Data Protection Regulation and the law. French on data protection. The German competition authority deemed Google to have significance in all markets and made it subject to the new national abuse control law. In the United States, Google is being sued by a coalition of state attorneys for allegedly colluding with Facebook to manipulate programmatic advertising markets.