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: Google faces $25.4 billion damages payout in double lawsuit over advertising practices: report

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Alphabet
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subsidiary Google is reportedly facing damages claims of up to €25 billion ($25.4 billion) in two upcoming court cases in the U.K and the Netherlands over its digital advertising practices.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that law firm Geradin Partners is set to file two lawsuits against Google across two jurisdictions in the coming weeks on behalf of publishers.

“It is time that Google owns up to its responsibilities and pays back the damages it has caused to this important industry. That is why today we are announcing these actions across two jurisdictions to obtain compensation for EU and UK publishers,” Damien Geradin from Geradin Partners said in a statement on Tuesday.

A Google spokesperson told Reuters: “This lawsuit is speculative and opportunistic. When we receive the complaint, we’ll fight it vigorously.”

Google’s parent company generated $147 billion in 2020 from online ads –– 16% of which comes from services where online publishers use Google’s ad tech to display and sell ads on their website.

Google’s ad tech business has historically come under fire from competition watchdogs in Europe.

France’s competition watchdog slapped Google with a €220 million fine last year. The European Publishers Council filed a complaint in February about Google’s digital advertising business. Then in June, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether Google favors its own ad tech services over rival advertisers.

The U.K claim will be filed with the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, which will reportedly seek compensation for all online publishers that host banner advertising.

The Dutch claim is open to any publisher impacted by Google.

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