New Bipartisan Bill Would Force Google To Break Up Ad Business

Legislation introduced in the US Senate would force Google to break up its online advertising business marking one of the most aggressive attempts to rein in big technology companies by lawmakers, reported CNBC. 

The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act is targeting conflicts of interest in ad technology, and would block companies that process more than $20 billion a year in digital ad transactions from taking part in more than one part of the digital ad ecosystem.

The bill would ban companies that process more than $20 billion annually in digital ad transactions from participating in more than one part of the digital ad process, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google infamously has a hand in multiple steps of the digital ad process, a business that has become the focus of a state-led antitrust lawsuit against the company. Google runs an auction, or exchange, where ad transactions are made and also runs tools to help companies sell and buy ads. If the new legislation passed, it would have to choose in which part of the business it would want to remain.

“When you have Google simultaneously serving as a seller and a buyer and running an exchange, that gives them an unfair, undue advantage in the marketplace, one that doesn’t necessarily reflect the value they are providing,” Lee told the Journal in an interview. “When a company can wear all these hats simultaneously, it can engage in conduct that harms everyone.”

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.