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Google Tests New Ad Product Some Think Is 'Secret Tax'

This spring, "Google announced a new ad product which most people in the advertising industry saw as a move designed to stamp out 'header bidding,' one of the newest pieces of technology ad tech companies and publishers have been using in an attempt to carve away at DoubleClick's monopoly," according to a report in Business Insider. Header bidding essentially lets Google's rivals jump to the front of the line in the contest for ad slots. Now, Google's testing a program that gives a few ad exchanges that compete with its own, AdX, access to Google's Dynamic Allocation product called EBDA (exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation). But publishers and others are concerned that EBDA, which allows select third-party exchanges to bid within the DoubleClick Dynamic Allocation product, is really only a response to thwart the header bidding trend. One thing that's rankling publishers is that it's not clear how much it costs to participate since Google is requiring participants to sign non-disclosure agreements. Further, some people Business Insider spoke to "said Google is asking ad tech companies to pay a small fee — one person said a 15% revenue share, while another said the fee was equal to a 'mid-to-high single digit' percentage on each bid  — in order to participate."

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