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

The CMA publishes Final Report on online platforms and digital advertising

Last Wednesday the CMA published its voluminous Final Report on its market study on online platforms and digital advertising, accompanied by 27 (!) detailed Appendices. This is a massive piece of work, and the CMA should be commended for completing it within just one year. The Report examines ad-funded online platforms with a focus on … Continue reading The CMA publishes Final Report on online platforms and digital advertising

The Autorité de la concurrence orders interim measures against Google in neighbouring rights case

On 9 April 2020 the Autorité published its decision no. 20-MC-01 (currently available only in French, but there is a press release in English), on the requests for interim measures submitted by various unions of press publishers in France and Agence France-Presse (the "publishers"). The Autorité ordered Google (as a provisional measure and pending its … Continue reading The Autorité de la concurrence orders interim measures against Google in neighbouring rights case

ACCC to create mandatory code of conduct for Google, Facebook

In April 2020 Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer of Australia, ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") to create a mandatory code of conduct governing the relationships between digital platforms and media businesses. The ACCC had been working on a voluntary code of conduct as a follow up to its Final Report on its Digital Platforms … Continue reading ACCC to create mandatory code of conduct for Google, Facebook