European and English publishers claim 25 billion euros from Google

Two complaints are about to be filed in courts in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, against the American giant for “anti-competitive practices”. They are based on a decision of the French antitrust.

A muscular offensive is preparing against Google. Two complaints will be filed in the coming weeks by European and English publishers, in the courts of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, against the American giant for “anti-competitive practices” in the field of online advertising. They are claiming up to 25 billion euros in damages from Google.

“His complaints are based on the decision rendered against Google last year by the Competition Authority in France”explain to Figaro Me Damien Geradin, one of the lawyers specializing in competition law in charge of the cases.

In June 2021, the tricolor gendarme had sentenced Google to a fine of 220 million euros for having promoted since 2014 its own services for the marketing of advertising space on Internet sites and applications. The Autorité’s decision thus opened the way to legal proceedings on the part of players who believe they have suffered from the practices of the American giant, in order to seek damages. “Since Google had not disputed the alleged facts, this created a presumption of infringement that can now be brought before the courts”says Damien Geradin.

Publishers Coalition

In detail, the complaint to be filed in the Netherlands, on the initiative of the firm Geradin Partners and the Dutch law firm Stek, will bring together several European publishers. Indeed, it is possible in the country to make a claim for damages which cover both facts that have occurred on the national territory but also in other States of the European Union. “We are in the recruitment phase to bring together complainants across the Twenty-seven Member States. These may be press publishers, but also game site publishers, for example, which work with online advertising.says Damien Geradin.

A separate complaint will be filed, on the initiative of Geradin Partners and the British firm Humphries Kerstetter, with a court in the United Kingdom for English publishers.

To arrive at the amount of 25 billion in damages requested, the lawyers explain that they rely on the calculation method presented in the decision of the French Competition Authority. The latter highlighted the large commissions collected by Google’s system of advertising exchange platforms, as well as the loss of revenue suffered by its competitors.

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