According to the report, the US Department of justice has also been investigating Googles search engine, which is suspected of favoring Googles own services and guiding users to Googles products.
In recent months, U.S. investigators have asked executives of rival companies about the pricing and operations of Googles network. This business sells services that can handle almost every aspect of digital advertising, from brand creativity to content displayed on consumer screens.
Tie in strategy makes the sale of one product conditional on the purchase of another product. Gene Kimmelman, a senior adviser to the public knowledge think-tank and a former chief legal adviser to the Department of justices antitrust division, said the practice is usually not illegal, but if it is used to consolidate a dominant market position, it could be against the law.
If these tools are used to maintain monopolies, prevent new players from entering, and crowd out competitors, then they may be antitrust, Kimmelman said
U.S. regulators will file antitrust lawsuits against Google in the coming weeks, possibly the largest antitrust case since the U.S. government sued Microsoft in 1998. The Microsoft case initially focused on the concept of tie-in, that is, how Microsoft uses its dominant windows operating system to promote customers to use the companys other products and crowd out alternatives.
While we are still cooperating with the investigation, it is clear that our digital advertising products compete with hundreds of competitors and technologies in a crowded industry, said Google spokesman Julie tarallo McAlister. This competition increases the choice, helps to reduce the price of Internet advertisement, and reduces the cost of merchants and consumers.
Googles Web division generated more than $21 billion in revenue last year, but it grew slower than the rest of the company. Google has often framed the business as an assistant to web publishers that rely on digital advertising. But critics say Google owns and takes advantage of the market so much that advertisers and publishers are forced to use more of its products.
U.S. investigators are investigating three major categories of the advertising technology market: the seller software that web publishers use to sell ads, the buyer services marketers use to buy those ads, and the exchanges that connect the two sides. Google has the tools to provide all of these features.
Other advertising technology companies said Googles move cut them off from their inventory of important digital video ads. But Google says other social media sites operate in the same way, and competing ad buying services, such as Amazons, are growing without visiting YouTube.
The budget for search advertising marketing is so large that the extra money spilled over to Googles display ads sometimes accounts for about 10% of the revenue of online publishers, so most publishers have to pay to enter Googles advertising market. Google is where you have to go, theres no better choice, said Kim Melman
For many critics, the bigger concern is how Google passes information between its different departments in ways that other industries prohibit. Regulators are considering remedial measures, possibly including separating Googles ad server from other businesses, which, after all, plays a key role in advertising selection and pricing.
Google is again bombarded by US Congressmen: re monopolizing on top of monopoly
U.S. senators from both parties said at a hearing in the Senate that Google, a unit of alphabet, has a clear dominant position in the search, online video and advertising technology markets, and that it has imposed a coercive monopoly to benefit its business from this market position.
The U.S. Department of justice and state attorneys general have questioned some of Googles market behaviors, including how Google uses discount, restriction and bundling measures to achieve the purpose of advertisers and publishers using only Google products and illegally excluding services provided by competitors.
Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, said rules should be made as a service platform to be neutral between buyers and sellers and to auction services fairly, but Googles behavior was unacceptable..
Harrison also said that in terms of advertising technology, many companies have been relatively successful, and these companies have survived well, which shows that Google has not harmed the competition.