On April 12, 2020, a 3D-printed Google logo was placed on the lid of an Apple Macbook
On January 24, 2023, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice had submitted an anti-trust lawsuit against Google in its briefing room in Washington D.C., citing allegations that Alphabet’s tech giant was misusing its power and sway over digital advertising markets.
In a groundbreaking case, the US Justice Department has taken legal action against Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google alleging their part in monopolizing advertising technology. This could prove beneficial to competitors and websites that offer ad space; however, it leaves the fate of advertisers up in the air according to experts who spoke with Reuters.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department’s complaint against Google asked for divestment of its Ad Manager suite. This package contains an array of services, such as one that allows webpages to auction off their ad space and another which serves as an automated market connecting advertisers with publishers.
If the lawsuit of the Justice Department succeeds, “advertisers and publishers could have more leverage with more options with expanding players – and consequently more competition,” said Neil Begley of Moody’s Investors Service.
According to Brian Mandelbaum, CEO of Attain ad tech company, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is well positioned to gain the upper hand if Google’s advertising visibility decreases. Apple is taking advantage of its unique privacy-focused capabilities and rapidly expanding its existing digital advertisement enterprise in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Executives in the advertising industry attest that Google’s practice of displaying advertisements on external sites provides them with precious data to measure an ad’s performance.
Apple has “an ability to be a new dominant force” in advertising as we know it today, given its access to data through iPhones, Safari web browsers, and App Store distribution.
As Paul Bannister, Chief Strategy Officer at CafeMedia (which provides assistance to smaller and mid-sized publishers looking to market ad space) states, Google’s rivals in the advertising technology industry are formulating products that satisfy both advertisers buying ads as well as publishers selling their ad spaces.
If Google is required to sell off its tools designed for publishers, competitors like Xandr, which Microsoft (MSFT.O) possesses and continues to provide services on both sides of the ad-buying market, would benefit greatly, according to Bannister.
According to Mandelbaum, with a larger selection of options beyond Google, publishers will be able to gain more insight into the value of their ad space and could pay fewer fees overall.
Paul Gallant, managing director at Cowen Washington Research Group, believes that if victorious, the lawsuit could mark “the beginning of serious business model changes for Google.”
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