The latest around Google and the Privacy Sandbox

On Monday the US State AGs filed an amended complaint against Google with respect to ad tech, joined by five additional States. (Reminder: the State AGs sued Google in December 2020, arguing that the tech company has engaged in anticompetitive conduct and even entered into an unlawful agreement with Facebook to restrict competition in the … Continue reading The latest around Google and the Privacy Sandbox

Unpacking Google’s latest blog post on web tracking

Yesterday Google published a blog post regarding its approach to web tracking once third-party cookies are phased out in Chrome. The post was the talk of the day all over Twitter and the mainstream press, and certain commentators even suggested that Google has pledged to stop selling ads based on individual web browsing (a monumental … Continue reading Unpacking Google’s latest blog post on web tracking

ACCC finds lack of competition in ad tech affects publishers, advertisers, and consumers

Australia has turned into one of the key regulatory battlefields for Big Tech - see for example the ongoing acrimonious fight over the news media code, with Google and Facebook threatening to pull out of the country if the proposed code enters into force. In the meantime, following up on its Digital Platforms Inquiry (report … Continue reading ACCC finds lack of competition in ad tech affects publishers, advertisers, and consumers

CMA opens investigation into Google’s Privacy Sandbox browser changes

The Competition and Markets Authority has just announced it will investigate Google's decision to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser in early 2022 and replace them with a set of proposals known as the Privacy Sandbox (NB: Google has justified this decision on privacy). The investigation - under Chapter II of the Competition Act … Continue reading CMA opens investigation into Google’s Privacy Sandbox browser changes

Texas, other US States sue Google for anti-competitive conduct and collusion with Facebook

Last Wednesday, on 16 December 2020, Texas and nine other US States filed an antitrust lawsuit before the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas with respect to Google’s conduct in ad tech (reminder: almost two months earlier the Department of Justice sued Google with respect to its practices in general search; click here … Continue reading Texas, other US States sue Google for anti-competitive conduct and collusion with Facebook

New paper on Chrome and the Privacy Sandbox

In an earlier post discussing the fate of targeted advertising, I noted that much of the current debate centers around issues of competition and privacy, and the inevitable trade-offs between them. While personalized advertising promises benefits for publishers and advertisers (and in theory users that value relevant ads), it is under increasing pressure from privacy … Continue reading New paper on Chrome and the Privacy Sandbox

Taming the big tech platforms: DG COMP’s remedy problem (as illustrated by the Google saga)

While the European Commission has often been hailed as the world’s fiercest antitrust enforcer for hanging down two major antitrust decisions against Google, i.e. the so-called Shopping and Android decisions, which were accompanied by hefty fines, the reality is that the companies harmed by Google’s behaviour are highly critical of these decisions given their lack … Continue reading Taming the big tech platforms: DG COMP’s remedy problem (as illustrated by the Google saga)

What should be the fate of targeted advertising?

In a video for The New York Times, computer scientist and philosopher Jaron Lanier described online advertising as “the little space in the middle” combining capitalism with the “socialist” concept that Internet content should be free. Now a multi-billion-dollar industry, online advertising is what funds free online content. It is also what has elevated Google … Continue reading What should be the fate of targeted advertising?

How tech platforms act as private regulators of privacy

In an insightful article on AdExchanger, Allison Schiff notes that the ad industry is facing two interrelated "existential threats": government legislation (think of e.g., the GDPR or the CCPA) and policy changes coming from big tech (Google and Apple). But, contrary to what one might initially think, it is the platforms' changes that are the … Continue reading How tech platforms act as private regulators of privacy

ACCC to issue report on app marketplaces in March 2021

Saying that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has become quite active in the digital front would be an understatement. After delivering a pioneering report into digital platforms in 2019, it kicked off a five-year inquiry into digital platform services in 2020 and another inquiry in ad tech services (even though one might say we … Continue reading ACCC to issue report on app marketplaces in March 2021