DOJ Antitrust Suit Could Be Just Around The Corner; Consumers Love TiKTok Ads

so it begins

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In Search Of

The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google could come as soon as this week or next – but sources tell The New York Times that ad tech will likely not be the focus. The DOJ is planning to brief officials from state attorney general offices on its planned suit, which is the next step to filing its case against the big kahuna. The suit is expected to zero in on whether Google has used its dominant position in search to block rivals and harm consumers, according to people speaking under anonymity. Although the DOJ’s suit might include a few allegations touching on the online advertising market, that part of the investigation “hasn’t been as fully developed as the case on search,” the NYT reports. This could result in some state AGs bringing a flurry of their own cases against Google with more of an ad tech bent rather than throwing in with the Justice Department’s case. Some state AGs feel that the DOJ’s imminent suit is rushed and premature. The state investigations remain open.

<3 TikTok

In non-Trump TikTok-related news (!!), consumers prefer viewing ads on TikTok over any other media platform. According to research from Kantar, users find TikTok ads to be fun, entertaining and innovative, and they’re less likely to think that TikTok contains too much advertising. Gamified media formats, such as hashtag challenges, are helping drive the positive sentiment. “This currently makes the platform an appealing advertising environment,” Kantar notes. “Of course, the challenge for TikTok will be to maintain these perceptions as they ramp up monetization.” But that isn’t TikTok’s only challenge by a long shot. Although the Trump administration seems to be placated for the moment by the slapdash Oracle/Walmart partnership, it’s not gonna be smooth sailing for TikTok over the next few months. TikTok parent company ByteDance has said it won’t transfer its algorithms to Oracle, and Beijing is unlikely to approve the deal. Related in AdExchanger:What Trump's TikTok Ban Could Mean For Advertisers.”

Help Me, Obi-Wan … 

Thank goodness for tech advertisers. In a year when the overall US digital ad market is being forecast to grow a tepid 1.7%, the consumer electronics and computing segment may be the only thing saving digital publishers from an ad spending recession. Companies in this category (including both consumer and B2B tech platforms) will collectively increase their digital ad investments by 18% to $11.6 billion for the full year 2020, according to a new eMarketer forecast. “No other vertical we track will be so unaffected by the pandemic in 2020,” eMarketer notes. But while tech is coming on strong, it still accounts for only about 8.4% of the digital advertising pie, growing to an expected 9.1% in 2021. We ain’t out of the woods yet. More. 

But Wait, There’s More!

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