Google is facing a fresh complaint from Germany’s largest publishers and advertisers, which are demanding that the EU intervene over the search giant’s plan to stop the use of third-party cookies.
Axel Springer, the publisher of titles such as Bild and Politico, is among the hundreds of publishers, advertisers and media groups that have argued to the bloc’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, that Google is breaking EU law with its move to phase out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by next year.
The decision blocks advertisers, publishers and intermediaries from analysing users’ preferences while they browse online content — a critical blow to how the industry generates revenues.
Axel Springer has been joined by other industry bodies, such as Germany’s federal association of digital publishers, in a 108-page complaint seen by the Financial Times and sent on Monday.
They argue that Google’s planned changes will damage their businesses while allowing the Silicon Valley group to collect vast amounts of user data in ways that leave its own ads-based search business unaffected.
The complaint is the latest effort to try to force Brussels to open a formal probe that can lead to fines worth up to 10 per cent of global revenues. The tech giant has already received more than €8bn in fines across three separate antitrust cases over the past decade.
“Publishers must remain in a position where they are allowed to ask their users for consent to…