The Department of Justice is reportedly scrutinizing Google’s plans to block third-party tracking cookies
in Chrome and stop targeting ads based on individual browsing history. According to Reuters
, the agency is looking into whether the move to a more anonymized form
of ad targeting will harm smaller advertising networks.
Investigators have been asking ad industry executives about the shift, according to the report, including questions about how changes to the way Chrome handles cookies will impact the advertising and news sectors. They are seemingly curious as to whether Google is putting itself in a position to gather data about users while preventing other ad companies from doing so. Engadget has contacted Google for comment.
Although the line of inquiry may not lead to legal action, there’s a chance that the DoJ could join an antitrust lawsuit
from several states over Google’s plan to introduce a Privacy Sandbox
to Chrome. UK regulators are also investigating
The Justice Department sued Google in October
, accusing the company of holding an unfair monopoly in search and ads related to search. The case is expected to go to trial in 2023
. A group of 38 attorneys general filed a separate antitrust suit
related to Google Search in December.