Google at the top of the advertisement
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal opened the “Pandora’s box”: carrying out a series of tests and investigating the advertising sector, it emerged that Google is one of the undisputed masters in the advertising field (it represents 85% of the company’s total revenue), so much so that it has further increased its turnover, achieving 116 billion dollars last year, an increase of 22% compared to the previous year. According to the famous market research agency eMarketer, collectively, the three technology giants, Google, Facebook and Amazon, will absorb 68% of the approximately $130 billion of digital advertising spending in the United States this year.
This is one of the reasons why the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Alphabet’s company to make sure it is not abusing its dominant position to sell its ads on the web.
The genesis of this power came from Google’s acquisition of the advertising technology company DoubleClick back in 2008, which was the subject of a $3.1 billion deal!
The purchase was approved but with the condition of carrying out controls to avoid anti-competitive practices. Well, that is exactly what is happening, because, as we know, the practice of mergers and acquisitions, which are now the subject of antitrust investigations, is one of the modus operandi of digital giants.
The proof came from a test carried out by Nexstar Media Group Inc., the largest local press company in the United States, which verified how the use of alternative means to promote video ads on the web turned out to be a disaster, so much so that, after this test, they decided to return “to sender”. On the other hand, for Google the task is easier because it manages the main buying and selling tools as well as the largest online ad bidding market, where the giant BigTech is both the auction house and one of its participants!
Even in Australia, Fairfax Media Limited, the publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, tried to leave Google’s ad server for the AppNexus service in 2016 and return to Big G the following year.
A Google spokesman defended himself by saying that simply by relying on them for advertising, they are in contact with over seven hundred partners, to whom the giant is only the epicenter. And it turns out that 90% of publishers use DoubleClick for Publishers, a tool in full and perfect connection with Google Adx, through a combination of Google’s famous ad server (DFP) and their industry-leading ad exchange.
Several of DoubleClick for Publishers’ rivals have abandoned ad publishing in recent years, including Facebook, OpenX and Verizon Communications Inc.
The Mountain View company, you know, “fishes” locations and email addresses, from services such as Gmail and Google Maps, to target DoubleClick ads, although it recently claimed to have totally anonymized the services, but when rival companies asked for access to data, it entrenched itself behind the shield of privacy and expressed a clear refusal.
Appreciable the attempts to curb the monopolistic overwhelming power of the digital giants, however, I also think that perhaps, with hindsight, we have moved a little late, because the work now, to break the long chains of interest that hover over them, will be very difficult and long lasting.
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Raffaella Aghemo, Lawyer