In a move with big implications for digital advertising, Google is pushing back its plan to kill off third-party cookies — which many advertisers use to track ads — in its Chrome web browser until starting in mid-2023.

Originally, Google had planned to phase out cookies in Chrome by early 2022, as part of an initiative it has dubbed Privacy Sandbox.

The delay is related to “our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)” — the British regulatory agency that announced a formal investigation of Google’s Privacy Sandbox project in January — and “in line with the commitments we have offered,” Vinay Goel, privacy engineering director for Chrome, wrote in a blog post.

Among the things Google has promised the U.K. regulators: that it will “engage the CMA and the industry in an open, constructive and continuous dialog” and that it will not give its own advertising products or sites any preferential treatment.

“While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” Goel wrote.

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