Pay Up, Google; Ad Tech Readies For TV 2.0

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Third Fine’s A Charm

Google was slapped with its third EU antitrust fine in two years on Wednesday, to the tune of $1.7 billion. EU regulators determined the search giant used its dominance to block competitors from selling text ads on third-party websites’ search results that are powered by its AdSense product. The fine marks the end of a decadeslong investigation into the dominance of Google’s search and advertising business; the EU has fined company an additional $14 billion over the past two years, The Wall Street Journal reports. But antitrust experts are skeptical that the EU’s outdated approach to antitrust regulation will have any effect on the internet giants’ business models. “I think Google has outmaneuvered the commission in many ways,” says Alec Burnside, a competition lawyer at Dechert LLP. “There is great soul-searching in the antitrust community about whether the rulebook is adequate for this.” More.

The Private Eye

Amazon’s private-label brands are receiving more attention from retailers and investors – and more scrutiny from regulators, including in India, where a new ecommerce law forbids ecom markets from carrying private-label lines. On the one hand, Amazon’s brand portfolio receives undue credit for disrupting categories and using data, says Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of the ecommerce market research company Marketplace Pulse. But brands can’t let their focus slip or Amazon may drink their milkshake. “Brands don’t need to worry about the hundreds of brands that Amazon is putting out. They need to worry about the one in their category that succeeds,” Danny Silverman, CMO at Edge by Ascential, tells Retail Dive. Amazon is also a ruthless conquest marketer, unabashedly syphoning search and purchase intent from better-known brands toward its cheaper alternatives. “Saying that Amazon’s access to its own platform is ‘unfair’ may seem like a stretch, but the company does seem to use it in ways that take run-of-the-mill marketing to new levels.” More.

TV 2.0

Ad tech companies are sharpening their knives (and pitches) for the age of programmatic television. Unlike first-gen programmatic, which was marked by seemingly endless inventory and everyone integrating with everyone else, data-driven TV inventory tends to be scarce and exclusive. For the vendors that do secure adoption, that’s an opportunity for programmatic technology. “One of the challenges with OTT is that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum – you want to understand the trade-offs in moving from OTT to YouTube and Facebook. Trying to get someone that can create an apples-to-apples comparison is important,” David Cohen, president of Magna Global’s North America business, tells Business Insider. Here’s a list of some new and familiar names in programmatic trying to secure a spot as the $70 billion TV advertising business tips into streaming and data-driven media. More.

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