According to Bloomberg.com, Google is facing a new Antitrust Probe Over Display Ads by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
According to the story the FCC is looking into “into whether the company is using its leadership in the online display-advertising market to illegally curb competition”
The story goes on to say that the investigation is in the preliminary stage and may not expand into a larger probe
“FTC investigators are examining whether Google is using its position in U.S. display ads — a $17.7 billion industry that includes the sale of banner ads on websites — to push companies to use more of its other services, a practice that can be illegal under antitrust laws, the people said. Google has been drawing regulatory scrutiny around the world as it bolsters its market share of digital advertising.”
The story goes on to say that “Canada’s Competition Bureau is preparing to start a formal inquiry into Google’s search practices, the company disclosed last week and The European Union is investigating Google for the way it operates the search business. Antitrust agencies in Argentina and South Korea are also scrutinizing the company.”
I appreciate you doing this story, but it is actually more damning, and in fact more sinister than portrayed.
I recall commenting on Google’s purchase of Double-Click as the beginning of a dark era on the web, this was about 3 months ago here on theDomains…
Anyways, here’s more light as shed by Reuters on this story (because you did a dullard’s work on it Berkens)
* Regulators in early stages of probe on how Google handles some ad sales -source
* Inquiry focuses on tools acquired with purchase of DoubleClick -source
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are in the early stages of an antitrust probe into whether Google Inc , the top player in Web display advertising, breaks antitrust law in how it handles some advertising sales, a source told Reuters on Thursday.
The source said that it was unlikely that the Federal Trade Commission had sent out civil investigative demands in relation to the probe, which would be the sign of a formal and more serious investigation.
The new line of inquiry focuses on tools acquired when Google bought display ad company DoubleClick in 2007; other firms which specialize in helping Web publishers sell ads to put on their websites are complaining to the FTC, the source said.
The firms have accused Google of leveraging some of its most popular DoubleClick products, such as the ad managing system which has an estimated 80 percent of the market, to push websites to use other products, including Ad Exchange where websites swap ads, the source said.
According to a second source familiar with the situation, Google has not been notified of any antitrust investigation so far. Google and the Federal Trade Commission declined comment on the matter.
The sources did not want to be named in order to protect their business relationships.
The FTC wrapped up an earlier investigation into Google just four months ago, concluding that the search giant had not manipulated its Web search results to hurt rivals.
Google was the number one player in the $15 billion U.S. display ad market in 2012, with a 15.1 percent market share, compared with Facebook Inc’s 14.6 percent share, according to industry research firm eMarketer. Google is expected to widen its lead to 20.7 percent of the market in 2014.
Google is currently trying to convince European antitrust investigators to wrap up a separate antitrust probe, and has offered to change some search pages to give more space to rivals in order to satisfy their concerns.
In that case, Google is accused of hiding links to rival shopping, travel and other websites to protect its ad revenues. On April 11, it said it would offer consumers links to three rival sites in some searches and would label its products.
Michael Berkens says
Reuters doesn’t like authors of posts to copy and paste entire articles
Google bought DoubleClick in 2008 and the feds cleared the transaction
Not sure what the 3 month ago reference it to
How can I search my prior comments on this blog, please?
I just sold google stocks because of this issue.
FTC needs to go after Yelp too , another totally BS site , forcing small business owners to subscribe to their service for some fake reviews.
I can see flat tax coming soon , thanks to the IRS draconian fiasco.
Jeff Schneider says
We have written a small novels worth of comments on the competition blocking efforts of Google. To copy and paste them all here would be monumental and attract the many Google God Commenters. Until Online Marketers circumnavigate not only Google but all Search Engines, Online businesses that use their services WILL NOT be FOUND EXCLUSIVELY and be lost in Cyberspace.
When we say Online Business E#xpansion is being held hostage by Search Engines, this in truth is reality. Search Engines make all languages unrecognizable and its data make Online businesses data unrecognizable as well.
Pretty alarming facts especially when you factor in Search engine Usage dependance of almost 100% of online businesses.
Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)