The judge said Google’s digital advertising business shouldn’t be seen in isolation without considering Facebook, another advertising giant.
Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
(CN) — A federal judge said Thursday that he was skeptical of a proceeding filed by a consortium of advertisers claiming that Google monopolizes digital advertising space.
Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court found that there was a problem with the relevant market framework chosen by plaintiffs and said he needed to correct his complaint during his petition to dismiss Thursday’s hearing. I told the plaintiff.
Freeman said at the beginning of the hearing that the complaint needed to be corrected. I think Google is narrowing it down with a compelling argument that some companies aren’t in the relevant markets.
Specifically, Google lawyers have said that a consortium of companies considering placing digital ads has excluded other digital advertising businesses, including Facebook, and Google has exercised its monopoly power over the market. He said he was artificially showing it as if he were.
If Facebook’s digital advertising service is included in the relevant market analysis, the proceedings are over, Google lawyer Jonathan Jacobson said. Facebook is the largest display advertiser in the world.
Dena Sharp argued on behalf of the plaintiffs, stating that the question was whether Facebook was an economic alternative to Google today. The question is a jury decision, not a motion judge to dismiss the phase, Sharp said.
Sharp said it was a reasonable alternative with the cross elasticity of demand.
Freeman, who continued to raise suspicions that Facebook should be excluded from market analysis, agreed that despite her skepticism, the proceedings could proceed in front of the jury.
According to Freeman, the criterion I’m looking at is whether the relevant market is plausible rather than convincing.
Not only did Google think Facebook should be included in the analysis, it also said it should comprehensively study the advertising market, including traditional advertising stores such as television, newspapers and radio.
So far, Freeman says he’s not too worried about radio, television and traditional stuff. I can let the jury decide it.
Plaintiffs also argued that the mechanism by which Google advertises, tracks hits, and organizes search engines is ambiguous, giving advertisers little insight into what they’re paying for.
Plaintiff’s lawyer, Jordan Elias, said our client was captured by Google. They make a profit even if no one knows what it looks like.
Freeman also questioned Google’s sharing of its proprietary information to make it more transparent to potential advertisers.
If Google provides all the information that has taken them out of business, that’s what I’m really struggling with here, Freeman said.
Plaintiffs urged Freeman to consider Google’s anti-competitive behavior and how it affects competition, not necessarily competitors. They argue that if that action makes it difficult for advertisers to enter the field of digital advertising, the tech giant must take responsibility for the monopoly.
Its price is rising every day and it should tell a story, Sharp said.
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