By Paul Vieira

 

OTTAWA -- Canada's antitrust watchdog said Friday it obtained a court order that compels Google to hand over documents related to an investigation into the company's conduct in the online display advertising market.

In a statement, Canada's Competition Bureau said it is investigating whether practices deployed by Google, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, reduced competition in the online display advertising sector.

Canada's antitrust agency said it requires the records to determine whether Google is "impeding the success of competitors," thereby resulting in higher prices and reduced choice, among other things. The Federal Court of Canada granted the order after bureau lawyers made an application on Oct. 12.

A spokeswoman for Google wasn't immediately available for comment on Friday. Earlier in the week, the spokeswoman said Google would "engage constructively" with the Competition Bureau "to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to Canadian businesses and consumers."

The bureau previously investigated Google, back in 2013, regarding the company's conduct in the online search and search advertising market. The antitrust authority dropped the investigation in 2016.

A lawsuit filed by U.S. state attorneys general alleges Google takes a cut of 22% to 42% of U.S. ad spending that goes through its systems. The newly unredacted Texas-led lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleges the share Google takes of each advertising transaction on its exchange is typically two- to four-times as much as the fees charged by rival digital advertising exchanges.

A Google spokesman told The Wall Street Journal the Texas-led lawsuit "is riddled with inaccuracies."

 

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2021 15:39 ET (19:39 GMT)

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