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Google Defends Adtech Against EU Antitrust Charges

 |  December 10, 2023

Google is pushing back against proposed measures by EU antitrust regulators that would require the tech giant to divest part of its adtech business. The company contends that such a move is disproportionate and not in the best interest of its advertising partners. Oliver Bethell, Google’s director, expressed strong opposition to the proposed divestment, highlighting the efficiency and significance of the adtech sector within the company’s operations.

The European Commission accuses Google of abusing its dominance in the online advertising technology industry since 2014. According to the Commission, Google has wielded its market power on both sides of the supply chain, showing favoritism towards its own ad exchange, AdX, in matching auctions. This alleged anticompetitive behavior has drawn regulatory scrutiny, posing potential consequences for Google’s substantial presence in the online advertising landscape.

Read more: Google Appeals €2.4B Antitrust Fine At Top EU Court

In response, Dan Taylor, Google’s vice president for global ads, joined Bethell in contesting the proposed measures. Taylor argued that serving both advertisers and publishers is a common industry practice. He cited competitors such as Amazon, Microsoft, Criteo, and Comcast, all of which operate similar adtech businesses catering to both sides of the market. Taylor emphasized the prevalence of integrated technology stacks, asserting their role in facilitating high-quality connections between advertisers and publishers.

This dispute is of significant importance to Google, as the ad business under scrutiny constituted a staggering 79 percent of the company’s total revenue in the previous year. In 2022, Google’s advertising revenue, spanning various services such as search, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and ad platforms, amounted to an impressive USD 224.5 billion.

The outcome of this antitrust battle could have far-reaching implications not only for Google but also for the broader online advertising industry. As regulatory scrutiny continues, stakeholders will be closely watching developments to see how the tech giant’s defense against the allegations unfolds and whether any potential divestment would reshape the landscape of online advertising in the European market.

Source: Business World