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Competition Bureau gets court order in case investigating Google's online advertising

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GATINEAU, Que. — Canada's Competition Bureau says it has obtained a court order that will advance its investigation into Google's online advertising business.

The bureau says the federal court order it received today requires Google to produce records and other written information that will help it determine whether the tech giant engaged in anti-competitive practices.

Bureau spokesperson Jayme Albert says that information includes documents detailing Google's structure, whether it is dominant in certain markets, the potential affects of its conduct on competition and whether it is withholding ad inventory.

Albert says the bureau has so far zeroed in on investigating Google's online display advertising, YouTube ad inventory and demand side platform services, which are tools used by advertisers to buy ads. 

The bureau has not reached a conclusion of wrongdoing, but says it hopes the information will help it understand whether Google is impeding the success of competitors, pushing up prices, resulting in less choice and innovation, and harming advertisers, publishers and consumers.  

Google spokesperson Molly Morgan says the company will continue to "constructively" engage with the bureau's investigation and will answer any of its questions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press