Scrutiny Over Google’s Ad Business Should Expand to the Entire Ad Tech Market

Karina Montoya is a journalist with a background in business, finance, and technology reporting for U.S. and South American media. She researches and reports on broad media competition issues and data privacy at the Center for Journalism & Liberty, a program of the Open Markets Institute, in Washington, D.C. Shutterstock The European Commission last week charged Google with violating antitrust laws by abusing its dominance in the market for advertising technologies, called “ad tech”. The Commission acknowledged Google’s misconduct may be so profound that a mandatory divestment by Google of parts of its ad tech services would be the most effective solution to repair the damage it has caused. With this, Europe’s top antitrust regulator joins the U.S. Department of Justice in seeking to dismantle Google’s monopoly power over the market where advertisers and publishers meet to buy and sell ads. But the implications of these antitrust cases should go beyond Google itself. The allegations by the DOJ and the European Commission should help to shine a light on how problematic the ad tech market has become, as it has progressively consolidated under Google’s influence over the last 15 years, per the DOJ lawsuit. Ideally, the scrutiny that antitrust enforcers are placing on Google’s business model in the ad tech sector should prompt all market players, including web publishers and advertisers alike, to rethink how this market should be organized. Without change, ad tech will continue to disproportionately benefit Big Tech middlemen, while hurting news publishers and undermining personal privacy….Scrutiny Over Google’s Ad Business Should Expand to the Entire Ad Tech Market