UK watchdog is investigating whether Google restricts competition in ads

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has launched a second investigation into Google’s advert tech practices. This probe, in explicit, will look into the role Google performs in the “ad tech stack,” or the set of providers that facilitate the sale of internet advertising house between advertisers and sellers like on-line content material suppliers. The group defined that Google has robust positions at varied ranges of the advert tech stack and expenses charges to each publishers and advertisers. 

It’s inspecting three key elements of the stack in which Google performs key roles, because it owns the most important suppliers for every. CMA will look at Google’s practices for demand-side platforms, which give advertisers and media businesses a approach to purchase a publishers’ house for promoting from many sources. It may even look into the company’s practices regarding advert exchanges that may automate the sale of publishers’ stock. Finally, the CMA will look at Google’s writer advert servers that handle a writer’s stock to determine which advert to point out at a given time primarily based on the bids and direct offers for the house. 

Google’s practices — if certainly questionable — may distort competition, the CMA stated. It may contractually tie these varied providers collectively, as an example, so customers will not have a selection however to go together with Google all the way in which, making it tough for smaller rival providers to compete. 

According to Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s Chief Executive:

“Weakening competition in this area could reduce the ad revenues of publishers, who may be forced to compromise the quality of their content to cut costs or put their content behind paywalls. It may also be raising costs for advertisers which are passed on through higher prices for advertised goods and services.”

The group is additionally investigating whether Google and Meta colluded over ads. That probe is all about digging into the promoting settlement between the 2 firms codenamed “Jedi Blue” and determining if that deal hinders competition in internet advertising. 

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