Antitrust investigations against Google: commitment to privacy is dazzling

In the USA there are currently some investigations against Google, which are based on possible violations of competition law. The prosecution's allegation is now that Google is good at hiding its real intentions behind fancy work, but is only pretending to be committed to data protection and privacy. The stumbling block is the privacy sandbox of the Google Chrome browser.

The subject was taken up by The Verge, who incidentally also provide the complete (English-language) complaint, in case you want to read it – but is naturally very dry. There are currently three antitrust investigations that Google is targeting in the US. In addition to Chrome, search results and the associated advertising market also play a role. Overall, it is argued that Google is abusing its dominant position in the search engine sector in order to also dominate the market for online advertising and marketing. In fact, other players have little chance and business customers are dependent on cooperating with Google.

With regard to the privacy sandbox, one is now bothered by the fact that, as with other browsers, this would block tracking cookies, but Google's actual goal was only to gain even more control. This would only mean that Google would be even more essential as a middleman for marketers and advertisers in order to reach Chrome users. In the end, the privacy sandbox was only put forward in order to control tracking and targeting by third-party providers apart from tracking cookies and to strengthen the partners' dependence on Google.

Admittedly, Google itself is not aware of any guilt and argues that there is a misunderstanding. They want to protect users better and their own business model is misrepresented by the public prosecutor. What the result will be in the end will only crystallize in the long term. The antitrust proceedings against Google will certainly drag on for months, if not years.

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