UK watchdog is investigating whether Google restricts competition in ads

The UK’s Competitors and Markets Authority has launched a second investigation into Google’s advert tech practices. This probe, specifically, will look into the position of Google performs within the “advert tech stack,” or the set of companies that facilitate the sale of internet marketing area between advertisers and sellers like on-line content material suppliers. The group defined that Google has robust positions at numerous ranges of the advert tech stack and fees charges to each publishers and advertisers.

It is analyzing three key components of the stack during which Google performs key roles, because it owns the biggest suppliers for every. CMA will study Google’s practices for demand-side platforms, which give advertisers and media companies a means to purchase a publishers’ area for promoting from many sources. It’ll additionally look into the corporate’s practices referring to advert exchanges that may automate the sale of publishers’ stock. Lastly, the CMA will study Google’s writer advert servers that handle a writer’s stock to determine which advert to indicate at a given time based mostly on the bids and direct offers for the area.

Google’s practices — if certainly questionable — might distort competitors, the CMA stated. It might contractually tie these numerous companies collectively, as an illustration, so customers will not have a alternative however to go along with Google all the best way, making it troublesome for smaller rival companies to compete.

Based on Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s Chief Government:

“Weakening competitors on this space might scale back the advert revenues of publishers, who could also be pressured to compromise the standard of their content material to chop prices or put their content material behind paywalls. It could even be elevating prices for advertisers that are handed on by way of greater costs for marketed items and companies.”

The group can also be investigating whether or not Google and Meta colluded over adverts. That probe is all about digging into the promoting settlement between the 2 firms codenamed “Jedi Blue” and determining if that deal hinders competitors in internet marketing.

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