Google’s anti-competitive browser cookie plan, advertisers tell EU

BRUSSELS, Sept. 28 (Reuters) – Google’s (GOOGL.O) plan to block a popular web tracking tool called “cookies” is anti-competitive, a group of advertisers, publishers and tech companies said in a statement. complaint filed with EU antitrust regulators.

The grievance could strengthen the European Commission investigation that opened in June into Google’s Alphabet unit’s Privacy Sandbox, which the company says could allow businesses to target groups of consumers without identifying individuals.

Google announced a year ago that it would ban certain cookies in its Chrome browser to increase user privacy and offer the Privacy Sandbox as an alternative.

The Open Web Movement (MOW) said the proposal would give Google the power to decide what data can be shared on the web and with whom.

“Google says they boost ‘privacy’ for end users, but they don’t, what they’re really offering is a scary data mining part,” the attorney said. of MOW, Tim Cowen, in a statement.

The Commission confirmed receipt of the complaint, saying it would assess it according to standard procedures. In June, it launched a survey of Google’s online display advertising technology services.

Google has offered to settle the case to avoid a possible fine and a protracted disruptive investigation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last week. Read more

Google declined to comment on the MOW complaint and referred to its previous statement released when it offered concessions to the UK competition watchdog, which described the Privacy Sandbox as an open-ended initiative to ensure strong privacy for users while supporting editors.

The US Department of Justice is also reviewing the matter, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Read more

The group’s complaint to the British regulator triggered its investigation which then led Google to offer concessions.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; edited by David Evans

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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