U.S. Justice Department joins big publishers to delve into Google's digital advertising business
Sina Technology News, January 17 at noon Beijing time, according to Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Justice is arranging a meeting of large publishing companies to learn about Alphabet's company Google's operation in the digital advertising market.
The Justice Department has been in touch with News Corp., Conde Nast and The New York Times Inc. in the past two months as a sign of the government's push for antitrust investigations.The Justice Department has held at least one meeting with representatives from Contenas, two people familiar with the matter said.Five months ago, the Justice Department launched a wide-ranging investigation into technology platforms, including Google, to see if they were using their dominance to curb the digital market.The survey of Google focused on behavior in the digital advertising, search and shopping comparison markets.
News organizations have long complained about Google's strong grip on the digital advertising market.For years, there had been concerns that Google was getting content from publishers' websites and their page features, and that publishers were not getting paid enough.Another factor is that Google has too much control over the pricing and delivery of online advertising.As more readers are more inclined to online content, and digital marketers are more focused on personal advertising than publisher audiences, it's becoming increasingly difficult for news media companies to get enough digital advertising revenue, let alone make up for the lack of publishing.
Although the Justice Department had met with publishers early in the Google investigation, recent meetings initiated by the Justice Department have touched on more issues, two people familiar with the matter said.The information gathered by investigators could be used to launch antitrust lawsuits against Google.
A Google spokeswoman noted that the company had mentioned in a blog post that the company had a number of competitors in the digital advertising industry, including Amazon, Facebook, Oracle and Verizon.
News Corp, The New York Times, Contenas and the Justice Department declined to comment.
Google's advertising business has a huge impact on the news business.According to eMarketer, a research firm, 60 per cent of US digital advertising revenue goes to Google and Facebook respectively.News Corp. has publicly disclosed to regulatorsComplaintsGoogle's dominant position in the technology ecosystem - advertising across the web.News Corp has also invested in digital advertising companies that compete with Google.
Google says it shares 70 percent of its digital advertising revenue with publishers and is investing in new projects to help news organizations increase subscriptions and adapt to the digital age.But some publishers say the revenue share is not that high.
Publishers and advertisers have long complained about Google's vast and complex digital advertising system, calling it a "black box" that leaves them unaware of how advertising works and how it is priced.
Google's recent decision to stop supporting third-party cookies over the next two years may be of concern to the government.Cookies are an important tool used by marketers to track the behavior of potential users on the Internet and an important part of the digital advertising ecosystem.
Google's move may give users more privacy protections, but it also gives the company more power to buy goods by blocking marketers from accessing user information.Google has warned publishers that banning cookies can affect their revenue.
Publishers also point out that any changes Google makes to search engines will have a huge impact on the way readers look for and read content.
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