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Two days after Reuters reported that Google’s ad tech is in the EU’s sights, a forced sale is one step closer. Antitrust chief within the European Commission Margarethe Vestager argues that means other than a divestiture would likely be ineffective.

As we wrote yesterday, the Commission launched an investigation into Google’s extensive presence in various online display advertising supply chain segments in 2022. It then expressed concern about Google’s overwhelming market power, which controls 28% of global ad revenues.

Directives by EU competition authorities to break up companies are relatively rare. However, sources previously told me that frustration has increased over Google’s alleged failure to address competition concerns.

Abuse of dominance

The EC’s central allegation is that Google has been misbehaving for some time. It is said to have exploited its dominant position by over-promoting its own AdX service in ad auctions on the DFP ad server. Google has been trying to work it out with the EU for the past three months. This was unsuccessful.

Should Google be forced to surrender the ad tech, it will say goodbye to the generator of 79% of its revenue last year.