Google In The Hotseat Again As Tech Giant Hit By Second Huge Antitrust Probe Targeting Its Ad Practices

The worries for Google are never-ending as the company has recently been struck by another major antitrust probe regarding its targeted ad practices in the United Kingdom.

This is the second time that the tech giant has been targeted by the UK’s major regulating body for competition. And with the fresh investigation in place, it’s obvious how the firm’s ad-based technology is being scrutinized again.

The probe is solely related to Google’s advertising strategies in the UK alone and it’s not coming as a huge surprise to many as we’ve seen the country’s authoritative council for competition and marketing launch another similarly themed investigation with the EU.

At that time, their targets were both Facebook’s parent organization and Google where a number of concerns had earlier been raised about how the duo shared a secret pact called the Jedi Blue - an agreement that limited competition in the world of digital advertising.

On Thursday, a report by the CMA mentioned how it was busy overlooking the ongoing competition in the ad industry and whether or not Google was playing any role in causing a disruption in the ongoing competition. After all, Google is a big name in the internet world, especially when it comes down to the online market related to advertising.

Other than a leading platform in today’s demanding world where the search engine giant provides so many publishers the chance to offer ads to various marketers, Google also plays another major role in carrying out ad exchange.

This is where so many advertisers are given a great chance to compete amongst so many others for advertising space across numerous website platforms.

In addition to that, the CMA highlighted how it runs different ad servers that control inventories belonging to publishers.

Now, there is a growing concern amid regulators about how the tech giant is forwarding its own services for ads, blowing up chances for its rivals to compete in today’s market. Similarly, we see worrying statements by the CMA about how Google actually limited the compatibility of the ad exchange across different third-party advertisers so that competition would be even more difficult for others.

With a weak competition environment all around, revenue relating to different ad publishers is bound to be reduced. Therefore, in the end, we just might end up seeing them drastically reduce the quality of various content displayed so that costs would be cut.

Google could also potentially be behind the increase in costs relating to advertisers, which could appear in the form of rising costs for goods and services being marketed on the sites.

The news comes after a previous probe by the EU as well as the UK took their time to investigate the Jedi Blue agreement that arose in the form of a deal between Google as well as Meta. Some reports went as far as suggesting how Google and Meta rigged related auctions for a number of online advertisements while also fixing prices through illegal means.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the CMA is keen on gaining more powers for the scrutinization of leading firms indulging in anti-competitive tactics under the DMU. Remember, with the new body in place, we could soon be seeing them getting more power for the imposition of fines. These could go up to 10% of the yearly revenue for companies that violate any global digital rules in place

For now, we do know that the government is yet to provide any of these major powers, including those related to fines.

Whatever the case may be, Google has a lot of questions to answer as there’s a clear target on its back in relation to its dominance in today’s online ad industry.

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