Marketers for an Open Web response to the CMA’s investigation into Google’s Privacy Sandbox

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today announced that it is intending to pursue an investigation into a major technology release by Google following a complaint filed by Marketers for an Open Web (MOW) on 23rd November 2020.

MOW had asked the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to delay the launch of Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ technology on the basis that it would cement its dominance of online business and frustrate bids by regulators around the world to ensure fair competition on the internet.

The CMA’s announcement is here.

James Rosewell, Director of Marketers for an Open Web, said: “This is about the future of the Open Web and the threat that Google poses to its development.  By launching this investigation, the CMA has recognised the seriousness of this issue.

“Privacy Sandbox would effectively create a Google-owned walled garden that would close down the competitive, vibrant Open Web.  Providing more directly identifiable, personal information to Google does not protect anyone’s privacy.  We believe that the CMA’s investigation will confirm this and save the web for future generations.

“This investigation is vital for the future of all online businesses, including publishers, technology companies and advertisers.  To support this cause we would call on them to join Marketers for an Open Web and add their voice in calling for an injunction to delay the release of Privacy Sandbox until after legislation is implemented.  Our membership is growing weekly and we welcome further participants.”

Tim Cowen, Chair of the Antitrust Practice at Preiskel & Co LLP, said: “This is the first time that the UK has launched an antitrust investigation of this kind into the tech giants and the first time globally that a regulator has considered a forward-looking process to protect tech market competition while legislation is pending rather than one focused on the misdeeds of the past.  This case is about preventing Google from cementing its dominant position on the web for the long term future.”