Feeds

EU antitrust probe fishes for Google secrets

Details of APIs, fees, shenanigans sought..

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Empty your ad wallets

Advertisers have large warchests which they must decide where to place, and the choices include online or offline media. A monopoly position means setting the cost of doing business.

The Commission wants to gauge the market impact of price increases of 5 or 10 per cent on online advertising, assuming response rates stay the same. It is also probing whether mobile ads are a competitive market.

Google's dominance of web-search advertising isn't mirrored in mobile advertising, where the market is much more competitive. Google enjoyed the largest share with 21 per cent in 2010, before the launch of Apple's own mobile ad network, iAd, which pipes advertisements into apps created by third party developers. Apple has made rapid inroads into this market at the expense of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Nokia.

Ad networks and traditional media agencies have also been solicited for input.

AdWords customers are asked to disclose fishy business including sudden reductions and unprompted changes in AdWords Quality Score – and invited to forward all subsequent communications between the customer and Google.

"How and how swiftly did Google follow up on your request [to explain and/or change the Quality Score reduction in question]? asks the Commission.

The Commission asks what course of action advertisers take when the CTR (Click Through Rate) declines. It is also curious about any correlation between AdWords quality changes and any changes to the customer's page ranking.

Exiting AdWords?

The Commission's questionnaire devotes considerable time to probing the cost and lock-in of Google's AdWords program. It wants to know how much the AdWords API costs a customer. It is also curious about the ease with which advertisers may port their campaign data from AdWords to a rival – and how easily Google permits that to happen. It wants to hear about any hidden clauses that may prevent rapid switching to a Google rival.

It is a fascinating set of questions – but it indicates how serious the EU Competition Commission is about engaging with a new and poorly understood market. Recipients are invited to submit confidential and non-confidential portions. The results will keep the Competition Unit busy for most of the year. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?