A damning report into Google‘s market power over the Australian advertisement market will be released on Thursday.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has raised concerns about the dominance the search giant has when it comes to advertising.
The report will show whether or not Google is operating competitively and will call for more transparency.
‘Due to Google’s presence across the ad tech supply chain, its strong position in the supply of certain services, and the opacity of the supply chain, Google is likely to have the ability and incentive to favour its own related business interests (self preferencing),’ a draft report read.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has raised concerns about the dominance the search giant has when it comes to advertising (stock)
Google’s digital display advertising, made up a massive 37 per cent of the total advertising in the 2019-20 financial year which is around $3.4b (stock)
Google’s digital display advertising made up a massive 37 per cent of the total advertising in the 2019-20 financial year, which is around $3.4b.
What should we know about Google?
- Estimated worth is A$1.29 trillion
- 94.4% of search traffic goes through google in Australia
- 19 million Australians use it
- Also owns YouTube
- Google news shut down in Spain since 2014
- Recently agreed to pay French news publishers A$1.68billion over 3 years
The search engine’s technology also controls the real time auction of display ads which are personalised to individual users.
The user will then see the ads on multiple sites which represents Google’s control on the advertising supply chain, The Australian reported.
ACCC accused Google of taking advantage of its power and their ‘ability and incentive to favour its own related business interests’.
The Australian government is battling Google and Facebook over plans to force the companies to pay news publishers for their content.
Google says the news bargaining code, which is being examined by a Senate committee before a vote in parliament early this year, will damage its business.
The government is preparing to introduce a voluntary code of conduct in relation to online disinformation, pushing companies like Facebook and Google to be more transparent and accountable about policing their content.
In response, Google launched a fresh bid to tackle a federal government move to make it pay for news content, offering a $1.3 billion program to support journalism.
ACCC accused Google of taking advantage of its power and their ‘ability and incentive to favour its own related business interests’ (stock)
Facebook and Google are so unhappy about a proposed new law requiring they negotiate with publishers to pay to link to news articles that they are threatening to withdraw services for Australian users
The world-first news media bargaining code is currently being scrutinised by a Senate committee which is due to report on February 12, before the laws are voted on in parliament.
The government says the code will ensure digital platforms like Google share the benefit they obtain from using Australian-sourced news content with the news media businesses who create that content.
Agreements are encouraged to be struck outside of the code, but ‘final offer arbitration’ will be applied if bargaining between the parties does not succeed, with penalties for bad faith action.
Google Australia managing director Mel Silva (pictured) said some changes were made to the code but ‘the law still threatens to fundamentally damage Google Search’
Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said in an open letter published on January 6 while some changes had been made to the code ‘the law still threatens to fundamentally damage Google Search’.
Alternatives to a Google search
- Bing – the default search engine for the Microsoft Edge browser is the next biggest after Google, but still only has 3.74% of web traffic in Australia despite being around for 11 years
- DuckDuckGo – considered the ‘anti-google’, this search engine doesn’t collect personal data and claims to use 400 sources to return search results
- Swisscows – family friendly search engine, launched in 2014, that filters out pornographic and violent search results. Also does not store personal data
- Ecosia – plants trees to offset internet use. It claims: ‘each search with Ecosia actually removes 1 kg of CO2 from the air.’ Launched in 2009 and donates 80% of profits to non-profit organisations
- Yelp – Australian search engine which specialises in locating local businesses such as restaurants, doctors, beauty salons and bars
‘If the code became law today, it would break the way Google Search works undermining the benefits of the internet for millions of Australians, from small business owners across the country, to literally anyone trying to find information online,’ she said.
Search engines are built on the ability to link someone to a website for free.
Currently no website or search engine in Australia pays to connect people to other sites through links.
‘This law would change that, making Google pay to provide links for the first time in our history,’ Ms Silva said.
‘The code’s rules would dismantle a free and open service that’s been built to serve everyone, and replace it with one where links come at a price, and where the government would give a handful of news businesses an advantage over everybody else.
‘That puts Google’s business in Australia — and the services we provide more than 20 million Australians — at enormous risk.’
She said Google did not object to the principle of paying to support journalists.
‘We’re proposing to reach deals to pay publishers through Google News Showcase, a program we’ll invest $1.3 billion in globally over the next three years,’ she said.
‘It will help news businesses publish and promote their stories online, paying for their editorial expertise and beyond-the-paywall access to their journalism, rather than for links.’
She said it offered a fair and practical way to meet the original goals of the law.