European media groups hit Google with US$2.3bil lawsuit

A Google spokesperson said the lawsuit was speculative and opportunistic. — REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

BERLIN: Thirty-four European media organisations filed a lawsuit against Google on Wednesday due to the tech giant's practices in digital advertising.

The media companies, from 17 countries, are seeking damages of €2.1bil (RM10.8bil), a statement issued by their lawyers, Geradin Partners and Stek, said.

The companies allege they have suffered losses due to Google's practices in "ad tech," the various technologies behind online advertising.

"The media companies involved have incurred losses due to a less competitive market, which is a direct result of Google’s misconduct," the statement said.

"Without Google’s abuse of its dominant position, the media companies would have received significantly higher revenues from advertising and paid lower fees for ad tech services. Crucially, these funds could have been reinvested into strengthening the European media landscape."

A Google spokesperson said the lawsuit was speculative and opportunistic.

"Google works constructively with publishers across Europe. [Our advertising tools] adapt and evolve in partnership with those same publishers." – dpa

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