Italy's antitrust authority is investigating Alphabet's Google for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the Italian online display advertising market, it said on Wednesday.
The investigation follows a complaint filed by Italian digital advertising lobby group IAB last year and will have to be completed by November 2021, adding to regulatory scrutiny of the Silicon Valley tech giant around the world.
The watchdog said it suspects Google of using enormous amounts of data collected through its own applications to prevent rival operators from competing effectively, adding that it carried out inspections of some Google offices on Tuesday.
Google’s spokeswoman in Italy did not respond immediately to an emailed request for comment.
The Italian online advertising market was worth revenue of 3.3 billion euros last year, with display advertising, such as banner ads, accounting for nearly 37%, sector data showed.
Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulia Segreti; Editing by David Goodman