The European Publishers Council (EPC) target Google’s advertising tech, in an antitrust complaint. They complain about search engine’s advertising business. According to the media companies, Google controls press publishers with its adtech.
The advertising tech is changing
Google has serious problems because of the of its advertising system. On the one hand, users are more and more concerned about their personal data that the giant uses. On the other hand, companies accuse Google for taking advantage of its monopoly position. Also, the authorities, both in Europe and the U.S.A. try to limit its power on the users’ data.
So, the company started working to change this, last year. It tested Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). This would have grouped users into groups, according to the websites they had visited. Still, companies couldn’t find out users’ common interests.
Now, the company has changed its approach, with Topics. So, it’s trying “baskets.” In order to track users, the system tracks browsing only the websites that enable Topics. It groups users into baskets and they turn it off or disociate from a topic.
Google’s parent company. Alphabet, registered $147 billion in revenue from online ads, last year. This was more than any other company in the world managed to make. All the money came from ads including search, YouTube and Gmail.
More than 15% came from its display or network business. In this network, other media companies use giant’s technology. Thus, they sell ads on their websites and apps.
The European Commission opened an investigation
Last year, the European Commission started investigating if Google favours its display advertising tech services. So, the Commission wanted to find out if it would disadvantage its rivals.
Now, under the publishers’ pressure, the European Commission might take further steps.
“It is high time for the European Commission to impose measures on Google,” Van Thillo mentioned. The EPC Chairman also emphasized that “Google has achieved end-to-end control of the ad tech value chain.”
Google defends its practices
On the other hand, Google mentions that these publishers that are complaining now benefit from its adtech services.
Thus, a spokesperson mentioned that publishers keep most of the revenues from advertising services. “Every year, we pay ot billions of dollars directly to the publishing partners in our ad networ,” he explained.
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