Google set the record straight Sunday about a complaint filed in December by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton related to its advertising-technology business.
The suit alleges that Google’s monopolization of online-display advertising includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, making misrepresentations to users and customers, and suppressing competition.
“Given some of the misleading claims that have been circulating — in particular, the inaccurate portrayal of our well-publicized ‘Open Bidding’ agreement with Facebook — we wanted to set the record straight,” Adam Cohen, director of economic policy, wrote in a post.
The claims suggest Google “dominates the online advertising landscape for image-based web display ads,” but Google claims the ad-tech industry has become increasingly crowded and competitive.
The company names the following competitors: Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, Oracle, Twitter and Verizon. Facebook, for example, is the largest seller of display ads.
Amazon last month surpassed Google as the preferred ad-buying platform for advertisers.
The list goes on to include Mediaocean, Amobee, MediaMath, Centro, Magnite, The Trade Desk, Index Exchange, OpenX, PubMatic and countless more. And retail brands Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy, Kroger and Target.
Fees are also an issue brought up by the AG. “Our fees are actually lower than reported industry averages,” Cohen wrote. “Our ad tech fees are lower than reported industry averages. Publishers keep about 70 percent of the revenue when using our products, and for some types of advertising, publishers keep even more — that’s more money in publishers’ pockets to fund their creation of high-quality content.”
Cohen goes through a long list of disputes outlined by the AG, attempting to debunk all.
The main problem with Paxton’s assertions is that the government doesn’t know enough about online advertising technology to accurately determine how it works. Google rebuts what Cohen calls Myths, but advertisers say when it comes to cost, it will often cost more to work with other tech providers.
This doesn’t apply to all of Google’s ad technology, but sometimes there’s not a clear connection between the software from two companies.