Competition Bureau obtains court order to further investigation into Google’s ad practices

The Competition Bureau has announced that it has expanded its investigation into Google’s online ad practices.

This is the first major update to the investigation since it began in 2020, and a year later the competition watchdog obtained a court order from the Federal Courts of Appeal, requiring Google to produce records and written information pertaining to the investigation.

Then the competition watchdog said it was “largely focused on allegations that Google was leveraging its market power in the supply of video advertising into the market for advertiser buying tools.”

The Bureau now says that it expanded the investigation to examine whether Google is leveraging its market power across display advertising technology services in a way that harms competition, or whether it is using predatory pricing.

As a result, the bureau said it requires more information on whether Google’s advertising practices intend to harm competition, affect the competitive process or success of competitors, or result in higher prices, reduced choices, or hindered innovation.

Last year, Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, sought updates on the investigation, warning particularly of the harm inflicted on the Canadian news industry with Google monopolizing ad revenue.

The Competition Bureau previously opened an inquiry into Google’s online advertising business, and concluded three years later that the company used anti-competitive clauses in its AdWords API terms and conditions to exclude rivals and negatively affect advertisers. 

Consequently, the company had to remove these clauses and provide a commitment to the Commissioner not to reintroduce them for five years.

Notably, European Union (EU) and U.S. lawmakers have also turned the spotlight on Google’s advertising practices, and in 2018, the company got slapped with the EU’s largest ever antitrust fine of 4.3 billion euros (about US$5 billion) for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system to unfairly prop up its search business.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

Related Tech News

Featured Tech Jobs


CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.