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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

British Competition Watchdog to Launch Probe into Google’s Ad Data Revamp Plans

The British competition watchdog said on Friday that it has opened an investigation into the plan of Google to revamp its ad data system, following complaints that the tech giant’s system modification proposals would cement its dominance in the online ad industry.

The U.K.’s competition regulator announced on Friday that it has opened an investigation into the plan of Google to revamp its ad data system, following complaints that the tech giant’s system modification proposals would cement its dominance in the online ad industry.

According to the Competition and Markets Authority, it has opened a formal inquiry into the U.S. tech giant’s proposals to remove third-party cookies and other functions from its cross-platform web browser Google Chrome and Chromium browser engine.

Google announced before its plan to remove the third-party cookies that keep track of users’ information on their devices, replacing them with its own tools as part of its “Privacy Sandbox” project which was set to roll out next year.

The competition watchdog said that it would run assessments to determine whether Google’s plans could cause damage to the ad publishers’ ability to generate income and undermine digital ad competition, which could embed the tech giant’s market dominance.

“As the CMA found in its recent market study, Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals will potentially have a very significant impact on publishers like newspapers, and the digital advertising market,” CMA Chief Executive Officer Andrea Coscelli said in a statement.

Coscelli said that the regulators would work together with Britain’s privacy commissioner and coordinate with Google during the process of assessment.

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