House Lawmakers Float Sweeping Antitrust Bills; Amazon On Track To Become Largest US Retailer

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Busting Big Tech

Talk about a potential bombshell. A bipartisan group of House lawmakers proposed a raft of legislation on Friday to rein in Big Tech, including a bill that would make Amazon and other large companies effectively split into two companies or shed their private-label products. The Wall Street Journal reports that it could be the biggest Congressional broadside yet against technology companies – namely Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – whose enormous size and power have made them antitrust targets. One proposal, the “Ending Platform Monopolies Act,” would essentially break up Amazon and other big technology companies, or make deal-making impossible. The proposals would make it harder for dominant platforms to complete mergers and prohibit them from owning businesses that present clear conflicts of interest. The bills come in the wake of an investigation by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust into the four companies. Of course, the proposals still need to be approved before making their way to the full House for a vote, and then would head to the Senate, before anything is signed into law. In other words, don’t hold your breath.

Move Over, Walmart

Jeff Bezos may be going to space, but Amazon is heading into the stratosphere as well. Amazon is on track to overtake Walmart next year as the largest US retailer, CNBC reports. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped by rapidly accelerating the adoption of ecommerce and cemented Amazon’s dominance in the retail space. Amazon’s advertising business grew by 52.5% last year, pushing its share of the US digital ad market past 10% for the first time and fortifying its position as the No. 3 ad publisher, behind Google and Facebook. On Friday, JPMorgan said Amazon’s retail business is the “fastest growing at scale,” driven by an expansion into “large and under-penetrated categories” such as grocery and apparel, strong growth of third-party seller sales and the “Prime flywheel.” [Related in AdExchanger: Amazon A ‘Catalyst For Change’ In Retail Media]

Getting Twitchy

Twitch announced a new marketing partners program for /twitchgaming, a content channel the streaming service operates for gaming coverage. The two brands attached so far are Chipotle, now the official QSR of ‘twitchgaming, and Ally Bank, the official financial services partner. Brands that join have “access to first-look ownable programs, category exclusivity, ‘Always-On’ in-stream branded integrations, custom segments, media and product placement, co-marketing and exclusive IP rights,” according Twitch’s release. Category exclusivity is a nice selling point, if brands think that advertising in that Twitch channel might heat up. The “exclusive IP rights” could be a keen addition too. For instance, brands that pay to run Amazon Live streams (the QVC-esque videos Amazon runs on shopping days or around promotions) can retarget those viewers, like they could retarget product page visitors, and that falls under IP rights.  

But Wait, There’s More!

TikTok is jacking up its prices as it builds its ad business. [AdAge]

The ad industry is responding to the departure of Carolyn Everson from Facebook, and many say it’s a massive blow for the company. [Digiday]

Coming off of a rocketing political advertising 2020 market, traditional over-the-air (OTA) local TV advertising is set to decline 19% this year to $14.9 billion, according to BIA Advisory Services. [MediaPost]

Hair and beauty brand Madison Reed has named Dentsu X powered by 360i as its media agency of record. [CampaignUS]

Shopify has acquired the team from augmented reality startup Primer, which makes an app that lets users visualize what tile, wallpaper or paint will look like on surfaces inside their homes. [TechCrunch]

Marketers want precision targeting with CTV, and they’re getting it. [Adweek]

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