The British competition watchdog has started an investigation to determine whether Google has violated the law by limiting competition in the technology for advertising market.
The Competition and Markets Authority will determine if the company altered competitors and made it harder for other advertising companies to take on.
The regulator announced that its probe of the Alphabet-owned search company will be focused on advertising technology intermediation, also referred to as the “ad tech stack”.
It is a collection of services that assist in the sale of advertising space between buyers and sellers and is believed as worth PS1.8billion per year, in 2019, based on data from 2019.
The CMA declared that Google holds a prominent position on various levels in this industry, offering various options, such as platforms through which advertisers can purchase online advertising space, technology that can automate the selling of advertising space, and also to manage ad inventories for publishers, who decide what ads to display.
The variety of services provided by the California-based Google is that it handles and charges fees to advertisers and buyers.
The CMA declared that it wanted to determine if Google is stifling competition in the industry by restricting the interoperability of certain services, and contractually binding certain of its services to one another which makes it harder for other companies to take on Google’s competitors.
The competition regulator stated that it was also concerned regarding the possibility that Google could use its platform to favor its own advertising services, in addition to excluding the services offered by other companies.
We’re concerned that Google could use its position in ad technology to benefit its own services at the expense of its competitors, its customers, and ultimately consumers as well,’ CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli stated.
It’s a bad thing for the millions of users who are able to access the wealth of information available for free on the web every single day.
could also increase costs for advertisers , which are passed onto consumers via the higher cost of advertising items and services.
It is vital to keep an eye on the conduct of the tech companies that have a huge influence on our lives, and provide the best results for the people and companies across all of the UK.’
In the response in response, the Google spokesperson said that advertising tools provided by Google and other companies help websites and apps to fund their content, and aid companies of all sizes reach out to their customers.
The tools of Google alone have helped support the estimated PS55billion of economic activities for more than 700,000 businesses across the UK and, when publishers decide to utilize our advertising tools they receive the largest portion of their revenue.
“We will continue to collaborate in conjunction with CMA to answer questions and provide details about the way our systems function.’
There are hundreds of other players operating on the same spectrum which include Amazon, Abode, Oracle, Microsoft, Facebook, Criteo, Trade Desk – several of which operate their own ad tech platforms.
The investigation of the CMA located within the London area of Canary Wharf, follows its investigation into Google and Facebook owner Meta’s ‘JediBlue agreement that was signed earlier this year.
The governments around the world are stepping up regulation of US technology giants, who have grown more powerful since the epidemic. There are numerous investigations worldwide regarding their market position which includes the US and in the EU.
Britain has enacted the new competition rules in the year 2000 to stop Google and Facebook from using their influence to squeeze smaller companies and hurt customers.
The change created a separate Digital Markets Unit within the CMA which would be given the power to block, suspend and reverse decisions taken by tech companies in addition to the ability to penalize financial sanctions in case of non-compliance.
Businesses were advised become more open with how they utilized information from consumers and that advertising practices must be adapted to the changing perceptions about how data is utilized and collected.