Harbour backs £13.6 billion claim against Google

Harbour is backing a competition claim valued at up to £13.6 billion filed by law firm Humphries Kerstetter at the Competition Appeal Tribunal alleging serious anti-competitive practices against Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. The claim alleges that Google abused its dominant position in the market for online advertising, earning super-profits for itself at the expense of the tens of thousands of publishers of websites and mobile apps in the UK.

The UK legal action is being brought in parallel with an EU claim, expected to be filed in Netherlands early next year. Both claims are being run with Geradin Partners, the specialist competition law firm which acted on behalf of publishers in the French competition authority investigation, as well as investigations pursued by the European Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority.

The competition claim is to be headed by former director of Ofcom, Claudio Pollack, who will act as the representative of the class of businesses alleged to have been damaged by Google’s actions.

Toby Starr, a partner Humphries Kerstetter, said:

Google’s misconduct in this matter is well known. The French authorities have fined the firm and multiple investigations are underway across the globe. However, none of these regulatory actions will do anything to compensate the UK publishers of thousands of websites and mobile apps who have lost billions in advertising revenue because of Google’s actions. The only way to recoup these losses is through a competition class action.” 

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