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ACCC Finds Google’s Ad Dominance Hurts Business, Consumers

The ACCC’s enquiry into the digital advertising space has found that Google’s monopoly in the sector is harmful to both businesses and consumers.

The final report, issued today, found that Google’s dominance in the sector is “underpinned by multiple factors including its access to consumer and other data, access to exclusive inventory and integration across its adtech services.

“Key acquisitions by Google, including of DoubleClick in 2007, AdMob in 2009, as well as YouTube in 2006 have helped Google entrench its position in adtech.”

The company’s preference of its own ad services within its ecosystem helps to protect its monopoly.

Furthermore, the ACCC found that current regulations won’t be sufficient to bring Google in line.

“New rules should apply to Google’s supply of ad tech services to address its dominance and problematic conduct,” the report concludes.

“Currently, the primary way the ACCC is able to address competition concerns arising from self-preferencing and other conduct identified in this report is through taking enforcement action under the CCA. However, on its own this is insufficient to address the type and scale of concerns arising in ad tech and will fail to remedy the systemic competition concerns identified.”

 

ACCC chair Rod Sims says Google ” has used its vertically integrated position to operate its adtech services in a way that has, over time, led to a less competitive ad tech industry.

“This conduct has helped Google to establish and entrench its dominant position in the ad tech supply chain.

“Google’s activities across the supply chain also mean that, in a single transaction, Google can act on behalf of both the advertiser (the buyer) and the publisher (the seller) and operate the ad exchange connecting these two parties.

“As the interests of these parties do not align, this creates conflicts of interest for Google which can harm both advertisers and publishers.”

 

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