Just as one European antitrust case against Google reached its conclusion, with a second one underway, it may be facing a third, reports the Financial Times.

The first antitrust case found that Google abused its dominant position in search to promote its own products over that of competitors. with the company told to expect large fines. A second one is underway, to determine whether Google forced smartphone manufacturers to favor its own apps over competitor ones in return for permission to use Android.

The FT now reports that a number of companies selling online advertising have asked the European Commission to consider a third case, to investigate Google’s dominance of the web advertising business … 

NordVPN

Microsoft, WPP and OpenX are all said to have visited the European regulator’s offices in recently months to present a case for antitrust proceedings, though none have yet filed a formal application.

One specific accusation against the company is that Google bundles ad products together in a way that makes it far easier for customers to buy ads from Google than from rival ad networks. Business Insider reports that media execs had previously expressed concerns about this practice.

Back in December, Digiday reported that media executives were concerned Google was attempting to “coerce” them into using two of its products — DoubleClick Bid Manager, its demand-side buying platform, and DoubleClick Ad Exchange —together.

Google had previously issued a rather weakly-worded denial, saying that it did not “require” clients to use DoubleClick Bid Manager to buy Ad Exchange advertising, and that many did not do so.

We are always working to make our products work more seamlessly together, but clients are not required to use any of our DoubleClick products–separately or together.

The FTC cleared Google of similar charges in the U.S., denying suggestions that the decision had been a close call.

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear