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EC sends out RFIs in Google adtech investigation – sources

The European Commission (EC) has sent out requests for information (RFIs) to third parties as part of its investigation into Google’s advertising technology (adtech) ecosystem, said two sources familiar with the matter.

In June 2021 the EC announced a formal antitrust investigation into whether Google had violated competition rules by favouring its own online display advertising technology services in the ad tech supply chain, to the detriment of competing service providers, advertisers and online publishers.

The questionnaires were sent out this week and cover a wide range of topics, including Youtube, privacy sandbox, and blockage of data access through the Chrome browser, said one of the sources. The questionnaires are broad in scope and query in particular the importance of data and the advantage it gives to Google, said the second source.

The EC declined to comment. Google was not immediately available for comment.

Last month a newswire reported that the EC would likely issue a statement of objections in the ad tech probe early next year, citing people familiar with the matter.

Separately, the EC in September took over a Portuguese competition authority probe into Google’s online display advertising technology.