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Google faces possible UK competition investigation after complaint

The CMA said it was taking the matter seriously would assess the issues carefully before deciding on whether to launch a formal investigation

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Google is facing a potential investigation after the UK  Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had received a complaint following its study into online platforms and digital advertising published earlier this year.

The CMA said it was taking the matter seriously would assess the issues carefully before deciding on whether to launch a formal investigation, in a reply quoted by Reuters.

“If the urgency of the concerns requires us to intervene swiftly, we will also assess whether to impose interim measures to order the suspension of any suspected anti-competitive conduct pending the outcome of a full investigation,” according to the quote.

In a report published in July, the CMA recommended the UK government establish a pro-competition regulatory regime for online platforms after concluding the dominance of Google and Facebook meant there was lack of transparency that had potential to create or exacerbate a number of competition problems.

The UK probe comes at a time when Google is facing increased regulatory scrutiny in several of its key markets.

In October, Google was accused of abusing its market position and maintaining an illegal monopoly over internet searches by the US Department of Justice.

The DoJ alleged that Google effectively locks out the competition in the internet search business while embedding its search engine on mobiles running on the Android operating system is also a barrier to entry.

In Europe, meanwhile, Google has already been fined more than US$9bn in three different actions related to blocking access to advertisers and Android.

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