The UK’s CMA has announced that it is investigating Google over its advertising practices and whether it has restricted competition.
This is the second investigation from the CMA in the UK into Google’s practices in ad tech, the previous is a probe into Google and Meta’s ‘Jedi Blue’ agreement.
Advertising technology intermediation, also known as the ‘ad tech stack’, is a complex set of services which facilitate the sale of online advertising space between sellers (publishers, like online newspapers and other content providers) and buyers (advertisers). In 2019, UK advertisers spent around £1.8 billion on this kind of online advertising. The market is important because millions of people across the UK use websites that rely on advertising revenue to offer high-quality, free content.
The CMA is assessing whether Google’s practices in these parts of the ad tech stack may distort competition. These include whether Google limited the interoperability of its ad exchange with third-party publisher ad servers and/or contractually tied these services together, making it more difficult for rival ad servers to compete.
The CMA is also concerned that Google may have used its publisher ad server and its DSPs to illegally favour its own ad exchange services, while taking steps to exclude the services offered by rivals.
You can see more information about the investigation by the UK CMA into Google and its advertising practices at the link below.
Image Credit: Pawel Czerwinski