The UK’s competition watchdog announced on Friday that it had launched an investigation into Google’s proposals to remove third-party cookies and other features from its Chrome browser after fears the move could restrict digital advertising. of rivals.
The investigation will assess whether the proposals could focus advertising spending even more on Alphabet’s Google ecosystem, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.
According to Google, the technology known as the “Privacy Sandbox” project enables users to receive relevant advertisements, thus helping to maintain the current advertising model without tracking users individually.
“As the CMA found in its latest study, Google’s proposals on privacy in the sandbox will have a significant impact on vehicles such as newspapers and the digital advertising market,” said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of CMA.
The CMA said it has received complaints from marketers for an Open Web (MOW), a coalition of tech companies and publishers who claim that the proposals are abusing Google’s dominance.
“To create a more private web and give publishers and advertisers the opportunity to support the free and open Internet, the industry must make significant changes to the way digital advertising works,” said a Google spokeswoman.
Third-party cookies play a key role in digital advertising, helping advertisers effectively target and fund free online content for consumers like newspapers, the agency said.
The CMA said it would be working with the UK data regulator on the investigation.