Google, antitrust investigation into online advertising

Google, antitrust investigation into online advertising
The Competition and Market Authority has announced the launch of an important investigation against Google aimed at verifying the practices with which the group would have hindered competition in the advertising market. The Authority explains:

The company, controlled by Alphabet Inc, allegedly violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as regards the availability and use of data for the processing of campaigns display advertising, the space that publishers and website owners make available for the display of advertising content.

Antitrust vs Google: the investigation

The Antitrust suspect Italian is that Google has leveraged its dominant position on the "digital supply chain" by using the collected data in a discriminatory way and preventing other operators from having a balanced context in which to operate. The Antitrust Authority introduces the initiative also going into a more technical detail, to more precisely define the scope within which it intends to sink its verification:

Google would seem to have implemented a conduct of internal discrimination- external, refusing to provide the Google ID decryption keys and excluding third-party tracking pixels. At the same time, it would have used tracers that allow it to make its advertising intermediation services capable of achieving a targeting capacity that some equally efficient competitors are unable to replicate.

The importance of this analysis is dictated by the fact that the heart of display advertising lies within this mechanism, an area that has been progressively impoverishing and that anyone who operates on the Web must now consider as strongly depleted compared to past. The suspicion of the Antitrust is that upstream there may be dynamics such as to reduce the possibilities for operators competing with Google and, consequently, that downstream the creative and development possibilities may be greatly reduced: "The absence of competition in intermediation digital advertising, in fact, could reduce the resources allocated to website producers and publishers, thus impoverishing the quality of content directed to end customers. Furthermore, the absence of an effective competition based on merits could discourage technological innovation for the development of less invasive advertising technologies and techniques for consumers ".

The signal that started the study comes directly from the IAB ("Interactive Advertising Bureau Italia"), a trade association that brings together the world of digital advertising in our country. All the details on the investigation are here.

Source: AGCM

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