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Google faces UK probe over plan to replace third party cookies
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating Google’s plan to replace third-party cookies from its Chrome and Chromium browser engines with its tools as it could further squeeze out rivals in online ads.
Overhauling its ad data system is part of Google's “digital sandbox” set to be rolled out in 2022
Cookies to help businesses more effectively target advertising and fund free online content such as newspapers, but they can also be used to track users across the Internet.
But the competition watchdog said the changes could hurt publishers’ ability to generate income and undermine digital ad competition.
According to CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli, Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals potentially impact publishers like newspapers and the digital advertising market while posing privacy concerns.
The CMA started the investigation after industry lobbying group, Marketers for an Open Web complained that Google's plan would deny publishers access to cookies they use to sell digital ads, cutting revenues by up to two-thirds.
Regulators will work with the UK’s privacy commissioner on investigating Google.
Google controls over 90 percent of the UK’s $10 billion search advertising market.
Other browsers such as Safari and Firefox have already started blocking third-party cookies.