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Google Ad Tech Class Action Gets Go Ahead From London Judges



London judges ruled a class action lawsuit to proceed against Google potentially seeking billions of pounds in damages over allegations it abused its dominance in digital advertising.

The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal unanimously allowed the collective proceedings against the tech giant, in a suit filed by lawyers representing thousands of businesses, to move forward to the next stage of the litigation on Wednesday.

Should the claimants prove that the Alphabet Inc. unit preferred its online advertising services over competitors between January 2014 and November 2022 they estimate damages as high as £13.6 billion ($17.4 billion).

Google’s powerful ad tech business has borne the brunt of regulator scrutiny in recent years. It has vowed to fight the European Union’s threat to break it up, while France fined it €150 million ($163 million) in 2022 over the online platform.

The ruling “is a first step in delivering proper compensation to Google’s victims,” lawyers representing Ad Tech said.

The suit is known as an opt-out class-action, which means someone impacted doesn’t have to be involved in the case to be included or to get a share in any eventual award.

Google had opposed allowing the case to proceed as a collective action. The lawsuit was speculative and opportunistic, the company previously said. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.

Photo: Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.


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