Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, has written to the country’s competition commissioner to inquire about the findings of an investigation into whether Google was involved in anti-competitive behaviour in online advertising that began in October 2021. Unifor represents publications owned by Postmedia Network Canada, which signed a deal with Google in 2020. The Competition Bureau sought to determine whether the Alphabet subsidiary had used its dominant position to reduce competition in the online advertising “ecosystem” and impede the success of rivals, limiting choice and raising prices for advertisers, publishers and consumers. The regulator required Google to provide relevant records and written information. According to Unifor, shrinking ad revenue has led to numerous local news outlets closing and there is a “crisis in the news media sector”, with Google responsible for inflicting “more harm on the Canadian news industry”. The union argued that Google was a virtual monopoly, along with tech giants Meta and Amazon, which account for 90% of internet advertising spending in Canada.
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