How much longer can Google own the internet?

Google has a lot of antitrust problems. This is a nice overview.

There’s a new Big Tech antitrust bill in town, and this one is especially painful for Google.

A group of lawmakers led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act on Thursday. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would forbid any company with more than $20 billion in digital advertising revenue — that’s Google and Meta, basically — from owning multiple parts of the digital advertising chain. Google would have to choose between being a buyer or a seller or running the ad exchange between the two. It currently owns all three parts, and has been dogged by allegations, which it denies, that it uses that power to unfairly manipulate that market to its own advantage.

“This lack of competition in digital advertising means that monopoly rents are being imposed upon every website that is ad-supported and every company — small, medium, or large — that relies on internet advertising to grow its business,” Sen. Lee said in a statement. “It is essentially a tax on thousands of American businesses, and thus a tax on millions of American consumers.”

Google said in a statement that this is “the wrong bill, at the wrong time, aimed at the wrong target,” and that its ad tools produce better quality ads and protect user privacy.

You can add the new legislation to the growing pile of Google’s antitrust woes. While the media has given more attention to the antitrust issues of rivals Apple and Meta, Google is potentially in more trouble than any other Big Tech company.

Conversation 7 comments

  • yaddamaster

    23 May, 2022 - 1:18 pm

    <p>now do this with app stores and the difficulty in side-loading apps for the average consumer</p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      23 May, 2022 - 5:35 pm

      <p>Why? Do you want to run AV on your phone like you do on your PC?</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        24 May, 2022 - 2:39 am

        <p>No, but if others want to, that is their decision, surely?</p><p><br></p><p>That said, I’d much prefer that they are regulated to take less of a cut.</p><p><br></p><p>But even the app stores don’t stop malware. Google &amp; Apple pull thousands of apps that they pull each year and researchers find even more, which get pulled, but not before reeking havoc on those unlucky enough to download them.</p>

  • lvthunder

    Premium Member
    23 May, 2022 - 5:34 pm

    <p>My only problem is the "forbid any company with more than $x in revenue". This should apply to everyone no matter how much revenue they make.</p>

    • anoldamigauser

      Premium Member
      23 May, 2022 - 11:33 pm

      <p>I agree that it seems odd to use a size metric, but I think the implication is that if there were multiple smaller companies that owned all the parts of the digital advertising chain, then there would already be competition. The fact that only two companies make this amount, and combined dominate the market (I think Google and Meta combined control north of 80% of digital advertising) means that breaking them up while allowing smaller entities to still control all parts of the chain would increase competition.</p><p>But, yeah, I don’t like the idea of setting an arbitrary size limit either. Would four $10 billion firms be better? Maybe, but collusion is pretty easy.</p>

  • JerryH

    Premium Member
    23 May, 2022 - 6:41 pm

    <p>It seems like there should be a better way of doing this than using a size metric (in this case dollars) and then specifically saying that they cannot own the multiple segments. I mean do we really need this bill, another that says Exxon can’t extract the oil, refine the oil into gas, then sell the gas and yet another bill saying the same thing for say chicken production, another saying that Verizon can’t have the spectrum license, the backhaul, and sell the plans, etc., etc.? No, we need to target the practices, not the parts of the entire chain. If they are being anti-competitive, address that specifically in a more broadly based bill that covers multiple industries.</p>

    • darkgrayknight

      Premium Member
      24 May, 2022 - 4:59 pm

      <p>A decent worded law could actually improve the news/media industry with its control over multiple segments by relatively few corporations.</p>

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