"Imagine if the financial markets are controlled by one monopoly company, say Goldman Sachs, and that company then owns the NYSE, which is the largest financial exchange, that then trades on that exchange to advantage itself, eliminate competition, and charge a monopoly tax on billions of daily transactions. Obviously, no free, fair and functioning market could operate that way. Yet, that is today’s world of online display advertising," an antitrust lawsuit filed by sixteen US states led by Texas against Google reads. The lawsuit, which argues that Google has monopolised online advertising, was unredacted last month by a New York court bringing to light many of the anti-competitive practices of the company. In part 1, we will explore how online advertising works and look at Google's monopoly power in various markets in online advertising. In subsequent posts, we will dive into the alleged anticompetitive conduct Google engaged in to acquire and maintain its monopoly power. You can read other parts of this series here. How online advertising works? "The scale of online display advertising markets in the United States is extraordinary [...] Whereas financial exchanges such as the NYSE and NASDAQ match millions of trades to thousands of company symbols daily, Google’s exchange processes about 11 billion online ad spaces each day." — Lawsuit Overview of relevant markets Online advertising for display ads (e.g. image-based ads) relies on three main markets: Ad servers: The inventory management software that helps publishers sell their ad inventory. Publishers are websites with ad spaces such as news websites…
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