On Thursday, the UK competition watch agency launched a new study on Google’s digital advertising business.
A study initiated by the Competitive Markets Authority (CMA) explores the practices of technology giants in advertising technology mediation, also known as the “Advertising Technology Stack,” a set of platforms and tools needed to promote the sale of online advertising. Investigate The space between the advertiser and the content publisher.
According to CMA, UK advertisers spent around £ 1.8 billion on such digital advertising in 2019.
According to Watchdog, Google has established a strong position at various levels of the space, including a platform that allows advertisers to buy online ad space, technology that automates the sale of ad space, and technology that manages publisher ad inventory. , Offers a wide range of services. Decide which ads to display.
The scope of services provided by Google means dealing with and charging for both sellers and buyers of ads.
CMA will make it more difficult for rival ad servers to compete by allowing Google to limit the interoperability of ad exchanges with third-party publisher ad servers and contractually link these services. He said he would evaluate whether the practice distorted the competition.
Watchdog also said he was concerned that Google could have used publisher ad servers and demand-side platforms to benefit its ad exchange services and eliminate competition.
Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive Officer, said:
“This is bad for millions of people who enjoy access to a wealth of free information online every day.
“Weak competition in this area can reduce publisher advertising revenue. Publishers compromise content quality to reduce costs and put content behind paywalls. You may be forced to do that, which may also increase the cost of advertisers being passed on through higher prices for advertised goods and services.
“It’s important to continue to scrutinize the behavior of tech companies that are imminent in our lives and to ensure the best results for people and businesses across the UK.”
In response, a Google spokeswoman said: “Google and many of our competitors’ advertising tools help websites and apps fund content and help businesses of all sizes reach their customers effectively.
“Google’s tools alone support an estimated £ 55 billion of economic activity for more than 700,000 companies in the UK, and if publishers choose to use Google’s advertising services, they will retain most of their revenue. increase.
“We will continue to work with the CMA to answer their questions and share details on how the system works.”
PA Media contributed to this report.