“One Of Many Players”: Google Responds To ACCC’s Ad Tech Inquiry

New York, New York. - May 27, 2017: Google sign outside the Google office in New York City. It is a multinational technology company specializing in internet services and products.
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Google has responded to the ACCC’s inquiry into the digital advertising supply chain, which again singled out the tech giant for its market dominance.

Upon releasing the report yesterday, ACCC chair Rod Sims suggested “Google is likely to have the ability and the incentive to preference its own ad tech businesses in ways that affect competition” as a result of its access to data and presence across the ad tech supply chain.

Sims also suggested Google is “marking its own homework” when it comes to the measurement of ad campaigns across the platform.

In a statement released by the company today, Google attempted to distance itself from the ACCC’s claims of market dominance.

“Ad tech is a competitive market with low barriers to entry. There are many companies, large and small, working together and in competition with each other to power digital advertising across the web, each with different specialties and technologies. Google is just one of these many players, and we’ve made it easier for others to choose who they want to work with,” a Google spokesperson said.

“Google has made significant efforts and investments in innovation and promotion of a healthy ad tech ecosystem, and we always aim to do so in a way that balances the interests of users, advertisers, and publishers.

“This includes creating privacy-enhanced measurement solutions, developing major innovations in auction technology, and participating in industry initiatives designed to foster the long-term viability of an ad-supported digital advertising ecosystem.

“We’ll continue to participate constructively in this process as the ACCC’s Ad Tech Inquiry continues.”

Others respond

News Corp, meanwhile, welcomed the findings of the report.

“The ACCC’s interim report shines a light on Google’s pervasive commercial power that impacts the entire Australian economy not just the publishing industry,” said News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said.

Free TV Australia went so far as to suggest Google has a “stranglehold” on ad tech and called for action to be taken to govern this space.

“In submissions to the ACCC since 2017, Free TV has been calling for new rules to govern the ad tech market, specifically to ensure that Google does not preference its own products and that auctions processes are fair and transparent. We very much welcome the fact that the ACCC has included this proposal in its interim report,” said Free TV CEO Bridget Fair.

“The ACCC report is consistent with actions being taken around the world to support an open and transparent ad tech market. We look forward to working with the ACCC as it finalises its advice to Government by August 2021.”

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