The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has opened an antitrust investigation into Google’s ad business.
The regulator will focus on whether the search giant favors its own ad tech services "to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers."
It will also investigate whether Google is hurting competition by restricting third-party access to user data that it uses itself.
“Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetise their online services,” Europe's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
The investigation follows a preliminary probe that began in 2019.
A spokesperson for Google said the company “will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission.”
“Thousands of European businesses use our advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every single day,” the spokesperson added. “They choose them because they’re competitive and effective.”
France’s competition authority fined Google roughly $270 million earlier this month for “abusing its dominant position” in the online advertising market.
Google’s ad businesses, which made up over 80 percent of Alphabet’s revenue in the first quarter, has been the subject of scrutiny in the U.S. as well.
Two separate groups of state attorneys general are currently pursuing antitrust investigations that touch on Google’s ad tech dominance.