Google faces £13.6 billion lawsuit in UK over alleged Ad market dominance

The lawsuit, brought by Ad Tech Collective Action on behalf of UK publishers, claims that Google’s anti-competitive behaviour has caused them losses.

Image of Google mobile and hammer.

London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, must confront a lawsuit worth up to £13.6 billion ($17.4 billion) for purportedly exploiting its position in the online advertising sector. The lawsuit, filed by Ad Tech Collective Action on behalf of UK-based publishers, accuses Google of anti-competitive practices that have led to publishers’ financial losses.

Despite Google’s efforts to block the case, arguing it lacked coherence and denying the allegations, the CAT certified the lawsuit to proceed towards a trial, expected no sooner than the end of 2025. The tribunal emphasised that the threshold for certifying such cases under the UK’s collective proceedings regime is relatively low.

Why does it matter?

The legal measure adds to the scrutiny Google is facing globally regarding its adtech practices. Regulators in the UK and Europe are investigating Google’s adtech business, while in the US, the company is battling lawsuits from the Department of Justice and several states over alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

Google’s legal team contends that its impact on the ad tech industry has been positive, fostering competition. However, the CAT’s decision marks another setback for a tech giant, following recent rulings allowing cases against Meta and Apple to proceed.