Canadian Competition Bureau Expands Its Investigation Into Google’s Advertising Practices

Today’s announcement from the Competition Bureau reveals an expansion in the scope of its investigation into Google’s advertising business, something it has been looking into for over three years. One of the problems faced by regulators like these is the sheer scale of an operation like Google’s, and it should not be a surprise that these things take considerable time, effort, and money.

Even so, they are important. Corporations need to know their business resides within legal norms, and their anticompetitive practices can still be restricted. Whether it is necessary to continuously expand the scope is a great question and I hope to see an answer in whatever final report is produced by the Bureau. Perhaps there is no good way of addressing the sole market of video ads — the investigation’s original subject — without also looking into the multiple other business layers Google has constructed.

The trial for similar allegation in the United States wrapped up in November, and it will be adjudicated later this year. E.U. authorities told Google last year it would need to sell part of its ad business. In the U.K., an investigation is ongoing, while French regulators penalized Google in 2021.