Google commits to play ball with CMA over anti-competitive ‘Sandbox’
Google has improved its commitments to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ amid concerns that changes by the tech titan could reduce competition in the digital advertising market.
The competition watchdog launched an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Google at the start of the year, following proposed changes to its so-called ‘Privacy Sandbox’, and a string of complaints, including from the Marketers for an Open Web group, which argued that Google was abusing its market power.
Google had proposed changes to its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ project which would allow them to remove third-party cookies on Google browsers and replace them with new tools for targeting advertising, raising concerns that advertising expenses could become even more concentrated on the Google ecosystem.
Google’s efforts to protect user’s privacy cannot come at the cost of reduced competition, said CMA chief Andrea Coscelli in a statement.
“If accepted,” Coscelli continued, “the commitments we have obtained from Google become legally binding, promoting competition in digital markets, helping to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguarding users’ privacy.”
The watchdog will consult on the new commitments until mid-December. If they are then accepted, it would mark the end of the investigation by the Authority.