Daily Management Review

Australian Competition Regulator’s Latest Report Challenges Google’s Online Advertising Dominance


Australian Competition Regulator’s Latest Report Challenges Google’s Online Advertising Dominance
Australia is trying to break down the market dominating position of tech giants as its regulator prepares to bring in regulations that will allow Australian internet users to choose what personal data they want tech companies like Google to share with advertisers.
Putting a limit on the ability of the internet companies to access the online histories of users for cross-selling products is also being contemplated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
These proposals of change were made by the ACCC in its interim report on digital advertising in Australia. The Australian market for online advertising is worth a total of A$3.4 billion ($2.6 billion) and according to the regulator, there is a lack of competition, transparency and choice in this lucrative and large market.
According to the estimates of the ACCC, the market share of Google of competition, transparency and choice is between 50 per cent and 100 per cent depend on the service its offers.
“Google is the only one that can determine the effectiveness of ads, so really often they’re marking their own homework when it comes to the effectiveness of the ads they supply,” ACCC chair Rod Sims told the media in an interview.
“There’s a lot wrong with the market ... and it’s effectively dominated by one player,” he added.
It is understood that these new regulatory proposal by the ACCC adds on to the already ingoing campaign of the regulator to check the power of online giants in Australia like Google and Facebook Inc.
The Australian government has adopted a draft resolution based on the proposals of the ACCC that Google should pay the local news outlets whose news and content the company uses to drive traffic to its websites. The planned News Media Bargaining Code has been criticised by Google and the United States based company has threatened to pull its search engine out of the Australian market is the draft regulation is passed, adopted and implemented.
A suggestion of system that will allow greater sharing of personal data of internet users with more advertisers on an anonymised basis so that there is higher competition has also been proposed by the ACCC in its recently released 222-page digital advertising report.
The ACCC said that competition among online advertising suppliers will be promoted by allowing internet users the right to choose to give access to their clicking data to other third parties.
Further, the ACCC also said in the report that it believed that the ability of single company to dominate the digital ad market could be achieved by preventing tech companies from using data gathered under one circumstance for selling advertisements in another unrelated field.
Prior to coming up with a final report, submissions are being sought by the regulator for a month. The final report is due in August.  After that the Australian government will decide on whether to transform the recommendations of the regulator into law.  
Google’s advertising service “helps businesses connect with customers and publishers reach new audiences, creating new growth and revenue opportunities for them”, said company spokesman.