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Google is facing a major headache for its core business in Europe, after the European Commission accused it of breaching antitrust rules with its advertising technology.

This is the ‘preliminary’ conclusion from the Commission’s probe of Google’s adtech business, accusing the company of favouring its own services “to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers”.

What’s more, the Commission has suggested that “a behavioural remedy is likely to be ineffective”, and that the only way to address its competition concerns is “the mandatory divestment by Google of part of its services”. A breakup.

Needless to say, Google does not agree, describing the findings as “claims that are not new and relate to a narrow part of our advertising business”.

It also claimed that “ad tech is fiercely competitive and constantly evolving” as a rebuttal of the EC’s finding that Google is harming competition.

What happens next? Well, the findings are preliminary: sent to Google as a ‘statement of objections’ which it can now reply to in writing, as well as presenting its defence to the EC and its national competition authorities.

So the crown jewel of its business isn’t being broken up just yet.

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