Canada's Competition Bureau probes further into Google’s advertising practices

Regulatory body announces expanded scope to examine the use of market power and predatory pricing

Canada's Competition Bureau probes further into Google’s advertising practices

The Competition Bureau, the independent law enforcement agency focused on regulating competition in Canada, is set to gather information and continue its investigation further into Google's online advertising practices in Canada following a court order that it had obtained.

The investigation will involve verifying if Google had carried out practices that were harmful to the competition regarding the online display advertising industry in Canada.

The Bureau began its investigation in 2020 and focused on the allegations regarding the company’s act of leveraging its market power when it comes to the supply of video advertising into the market, specifically for advertiser buying tools.

With the expansion of its investigation scope, the Bureau says it will investigate how Google may have leveraged its market power across display advertising technology services as well as used allegedly used predatory pricing when it comes to such services.

The Bureau also says it will require more information regarding Google’s advertising practices, such as if it intended to harm competition, affected the competitive process or success of competitors, or resulted in higher prices, reduced choices, and served as a hindrance to innovation when it comes to the online display advertising services market in the country.

The agency will also examine Google’s practices related to the Competition Act and if it raises concerns under its restrictive trade practices provision, such as the abuse of dominance provision.

With the court order granted to the agency by the Federal Court of Canada, Google is required to produce records and written information relevant to the Bureau's investigation.

Notably, the Bureau obtained its first order concerning the investigation into the firm’s online advertising business in 2021. Google also owns four of Canada's largest online advertising technology services: DoubleClick for Publishers, AdX, Display & Video 360, and Google Ads.

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