Reports: FTC examining Google's display ads

The alleged inquiry concerns an ad grouping practice known as 'bundling'

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into Google's display ad business amid complaints from rivals that the company is abusing its power in how it sells online-graphical and video ads.

The examination, which has been reported in The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets, concerns a process of grouping ad-related services together known as "tying" or "bundling." Some of Google's advertising-technology rivals have complained to antitrust authorities that the company has been bundling those ad services for website publishers so that the publishers would have to use them all rather than just one Google service, reports say.

The FTC and Google both declined to comment on the reports.

The FTC examination is still in its early stages, the reports say, and may not ultimately result in a formal probe.

The reported inquiry comes just several months after Google settled a different antitrust case with the FTC over its search engine and search advertising business.

After that 19-month investigation, Google agreed to stop certain search practices such as scraping Web content from rivals and allegedly passing it off as its own.

Display advertising comprises the videos, text, images and other interactive ads appearing on the desktop and mobile devices.

In display ads, Google's DoubleClick advertising technology provides its advertising technology to publishers, agencies and other advertisers. The technology, which Google acquired in 2007, creates an auction marketplace for the trading of display ad space.

Google generates the bulk of its revenue through advertising. Google websites' advertising brought in sales of over US$31 billion in 2012; total Google revenue was over $46 billion.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesadvertisingInternet-based applications and servicesantitrustGooglelegalinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?