The big technology companies including Google and Meta are under the scanner of watchdogs in the European and the United Kingdom markets. Regulators of the EU and UK have teamed up again to crack down to find out breach of antitrust rules.
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched a probe against the two companies alleging they have made an online advertising deal to wipe off other competitors. If found guilty, they can lose about 10 percent of their worldwide revenues.
Google has a market share of over 90 percent at 7.3 billion pounds in search ads in the UK and the Meta holds at least fifty percent of the display ad market at 5.5 billion pounds.
This is the second time the regulators of the EU and UK have teamed up in less than a year. UK and Brussels announced in June 2021 the investigative proceedings into social giant Facebook with respect to the use of data for digital advertising. The timing was such that Facebook was gearing up to curb further their influence and the UK government was preparing to publish the much-awaited Online Safety Bill.
However, many were concerned that the Online Safety Bill may make tech less competitive.
The Online Safety Bill is said to the improve safety of the internet. A draft was published in May 2021 and is proposed to make an act. If the bill is passed in the UK Parliament and becomes an act, a new duty of care can be created for online platforms while serving the users. It will address potentially harmful content such as internet fraud, online trolling and harmful content. It will simultaneously oblige social giants to retain the journalistic content including user comments on topics related to political issues and parties.
Meanwhile, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Google said anti-Ukraine content will not be allowed to make money by removing the ads. Publishers have been reached out that revenue cannot be made from such content. In simple words, no ads will be rolled on content that dismisses, exploits or condones the conflict between two nations.
The barbaric assault of Russian in the key Ukrainian cities and towns have stepped into the second month amid a couple of failed peace talk attempts. The West has imposed sanctions on Russia including a ban on its oil and gas, and the removal of Russian banks from the international SWIFT payment systems.
China has condemned the sanctions and the shortage in the supply of gas and oil is being significantly witnessed in several European countries and the UK. Inflation is rising and experts believe it may tough the level of two digits if the war continues for a longer period.