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Google responds to Statement of Objections from the European Commission regarding its ad tech business

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Early today, the European Commission sent its Statement of Objections to Google over abusive practices in the online advertising market. The Commission found that Google is favoring its own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers. The European Commission’s preliminary view is that Google should divest part of its ad services to address its competition concerns.

Google today published a blog post defending its ad tech business practices. Google claims that breaking their ad tech business would diminish the availability of free, ad-supported content that benefits everyone.

Google highlighted that EC failed to recognize how advanced Google advertising technology helps merchants reach customers and grow their businesses — while lowering costs and expanding choices for consumers.

Here’s how Google is defending its ad tech business:

  • Ad tech is fiercely competitive and constantly evolving. We compete with hundreds of companies in this space, including household names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta as well as specialized advertising technology companies like Criteo, The Trade Desk, and many others. Even media companies and retailers now offer competing advertising technologies.

  • Many of these companies provide integrated ad tech services to both advertisers and publishers in the same way we do, because these integrated models help more efficiently connect advertisers, publishers, and consumers — benefiting all three.

  • And competition for digital ad placement plays out every day, at every level. Customers regularly mix and match our tools with our competitors’. According to industry studies, the average large publisher will use six different platforms to sell ads on its website this year.

  • In such a crowded space, publishers, and advertisers choose to use Google because our products are effective and reliable. Our ad tech fees are transparent and consistent with industry rates. And our industry-leading tools help publishers and advertisers verify that they don’t face hidden fees in buying and selling ad placements.

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