As part of another EU antitrust investigation, Google parent Alphabet offered to let rival ad intermediaries place ads on YouTube.
European Commission probe. This development is likely to pave the way for Google to settle an EU probe, opened last year, without having to pay a fine. The EU initiated this most recent probe to examine whether the tech giant and largest provider of search and video was giving itself an unfair advantage by restricting rivals’ and advertisers’ access to user data.
Google singled out. A EU watchdog singled out Google’s requirement that advertisers use it’s Ad Manager to display ads on YouTube and also potential restrictions on the way rivals are allowed to serve ads. They are also inquiring into Google’s requirements that advertisers use Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to buy YouTube ads – which is how publishers purchase an advertising spot on the popular video platform.
A different regulator, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its second probe into Google’s advertising practices last month, saying that the company could be “distorting competition and may have illegally favored its own services.”
Last year Britain imposed a competition regime to prevent Google and Facebook from “using their dominance to push out smaller firms and disadvantage customers.”
More information. You can read the full Reuters article here.
There is no response from Google on when they plan to allow rivals to place ads on YouTube, or in which countries this would take effect.
Why we care. Rival ads on YouTube would allow other advertisers to compete for market share, which could benefit both advertisers and consumers. There’s no indication yet on what effect this could have on Google, but we’re certainly watching this closely.
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