Australian antitrust regulators are demanding more power to fight Google’s reins on advertising technology

Australia’s antitrust regulators are calling for more authority in the advertising technology sector, especially to counter growing competition concerns from Google, addressing the growing challenges of existing Australian competition laws alone. It says it can’t.

In a report released Tuesday, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said a survey of advertising technology, also known as “advertising technology,” could harm publishers, advertisers and consumers. “Competitive concerns” have been identified.

Adtech is a tool and software that enables advertisers to reach their audience and deliver and measure digital advertising campaigns in the ever-expanding digital economy.

This technology is used to buy and sell digital display ads and involves the automated use of complex algorithms and systems to create digital ads such as images and videos such as pop-ups and banners in milliseconds.

The ACCC report looks at ad tech services and related advertising agency services that deliver digital display ads to consumers and focuses on open display channels.

The ACCC acknowledged that this technology plays a key role in helping Australian companies reach consumers and enable publishers to fund online content.

However, the report identified multiple competition issues within the sector, saying, “Australia’s existing competition law enforcement measures alone are not sufficient to address competition issues within the sector, and the ACCC has it. We should empower them to develop specific rules accordingly. “

The 200-page report identifies Google, which holds a dominant position in a key part of the advertising technology supply chain, as a major criminal in the advertising technology industry’s competition, pricing and lack of transparency.

Major acquisitions by Google, such as DoubleClick in 2007, AdMob in 2009, and YouTube in 2006, have helped Google secure its position in advertising technology, and Watchdog said the company “consumers and others.” Access to data, exclusive inventory and integration of the entire ad tech service. “

YouTube ads
On September 27, 2019, a woman with a smartphone passed a YouTube billboard ad in Berlin. (SeanGallup / Getty Images)

ACCC estimates that more than 90% of ad impressions traded through the ad technology supply chain will pass at least one of Google’s services in 2020.

“Google has access to a large amount of our data collected through customer services such as search, maps and YouTube,” the report said. “It’s unclear how Google will use its own data to leverage its advertising technology business, causing confusion among industry stakeholders.”

In addition, the ACCC has discovered that Google is using its dominant position to prioritize its own services and protect them from competition. For example, it prevents rival advertising technology services such as Amazon, Facebook, and Adobe from accessing YouTube ads.

Google has also refused to participate in publisher-led header bids (also known as preferred). This is a technique for publishers to serve inventory to multiple ad exchanges at the same time before requesting an ad server.

The ACCC said the approach was aimed at “intensifying competition for publisher inventory,” and Google “previously allowed services to have a” last look “opportunity to outperform their rivals.” increase.

Watchdog seeks more power to develop and implement specific measures to address the competitive issues posed by Google’s data dominance, establishes specific standards within the industry, and technology We requested providers to publish average rates and recommended that advertising technology customers make them easier to compare among different providers.

Watchdog also wants Google to provide publishers with information about the operation and results of publisher ad server auctions and to clarify how the data will be used to sell the service.

We also encouraged you to consider rules to “manage conflicts of interest, prevent self-priority, and allow rival advertising technology providers to compete.”

“We have identified long-standing behavior and systematic competition concerns related to multiple advertising technology services, including behavior that harms our rivals,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a release. ..

“General competition law investigations and enforcement procedures are not well suited to address this type of widespread concern and can take too long to prevent anti-competitive harm. We encourage you to consider the rules to manage conflicts, prevent anti-competitive self-priority, and allow rival advertising technology providers to compete for their benefits, “he added. ..

The ACCC said it would consider how its findings and recommendations, including the proposed rules and legal framework of authority, would come into effect in a broader report scheduled for September 2022. ..

The Epoch Times contacted Google for comment.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.