WTF is the Justice Department’s ad tech antitrust case against Google?
This article is a WTF explainer, in which we break down media and marketing’s most confusing terms. More from the series →
Over the past decade-plus, Google has come to dominate the digital advertising industry. And in the eyes of the U.S. Department of Justice, the search giant has become too dominant.
On Jan. 24, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Google accusing the company of having monopolized the ad tech market. According to the department’s antitrust lawsuit, Google capitalized on its combination of ad tech tools — particularly its ad exchange and publisher ad server — to corner the programmatic ad market.
At 155 pages long, the complaint is a lot to digest. So, in a series of explainer videos, we break down the primary aspects of the Justice Department’s accusations.
The first video in the series covers the basics of Google’s ad tech operation that raised antitrust alarms.
The second video breaks down how Google used its combination of ad tech tools to seize a competitive advantage over competing ad tech firms.
The third video digs into the crux of the Justice Department’s case — how Google used its ad tech monopoly to prevent fair competition — by breaking down the programmatic waterfall and header bidding.
The fourth video looks at how Google Google sought to secure its ad exchange’s position atop the broader programmatic advertising marketplace by modifying its ad tech fees and manipulating advertisers’ bids in order to make AdX more lucrative for publishers.
The fifth and final — for now — video outlines how Google used its ad tech tools to put rival ad exchanges at a disadvantage and penalize the publishers that prioritized them.
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