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Europe’s competition cop says she’ll monitor Google’s ad-blocking efforts

Margrethe Vestager tweeted her concern.

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager onstage Via YouTube

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager is keeping an eye on Google’s development of an ad blocker.

Google is working on a feature for its Chrome browser on desktop and mobile that would either filter certain types of ads or filter ads entirely from sites that run what it sees as “bad ads,” according to sources.

The feature could still end up not being released and it may or may not qualify as an ad blocker in the way people typically think about ad blockers.

Still, Vestager, who heads up the EU’s regulatory body in charge of anticompetitive behavior, has her ears perked. “We will follow this new feature and it’s effects closely,” she tweeted in response to a question from a reporter.

A Google-made ad blocker could stifle competition among third-party ad blockers, especially if it were promoted as a built-in feature in Google’s Chrome browser. Google might also have an incentive to maintain ads served by its own ads network, giving its business an additional edge.

Google declined to comment on Vestager’s remarks.

Vestager has made numerous allegations of antitrust toward Google, including claims the company uses its dominance in digital advertising to promote results from Google products such as Google Shopping, even when they are not the most relevant to users.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.