Digital Advertising: British media sues Google

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Associated Newspapers, parent company of the British daily newspaper and MailOnline, is suing the US internet giant Google, accusing it of manipulating the online advertising market and its search engine and denying media companies vital revenue.

“Internet advertising continues to grow as users consume more content on the Internet, but newspaper advertising revenues have decreased by 70% over the past decade,” resulting in waves of layoffs and the shutdown of many newspapers, according to this lawsuit filed on Monday. Wed in federal court in Manhattan.

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The complaint continues: “Publishing companies are not seeing growth in advertising spend because Google and its parent company Alphabet illegally acquired and maintained the tools used by advertisers and the media to buy and sell promotional space.”

Among other condemned “tactics”, Google is accused of making it difficult for newspaper publishers to compare prices and “manipulate the market” through its own exchanges, “DoubleClick for Publishers” for press publishers, and “DoubleClick Ad Exchange”, which dominates the market. Online advertising.

For years, Google has used “its search engine to punish news publishers who do not obey its practices” by making them feature lower in search results if they don’t sell enough ad space in their trading market, according to the document.

In particular, the Daily Mail website notes that Associated Newspapers believes their coverage of the British royal family this year is abnormally low on Google searches, with more classified newspaper articles ranking higher.

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In response to a question by Agence France-Presse, a Google spokesman described the complaint as “totally inaccurate” and “baseless.”

Last year, Britain’s Gendarmerie Competition Authority (CMA) proposed measures to curb the dominance of the US giants Facebook and Google in the country’s online advertising market.

According to CMA, online advertising spend was around £ 14 billion in 2019 in the UK, 80% of which is captured by Facebook and Google.

Founded in 1998 in Silicon Valley, the tech giant and world leader in online advertising faces several lawsuits over anti-competitive practices, which were launched in late 2020 and which will undoubtedly take years to complete.

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