Google's dominance of digital advertising technology in Australia needs to be addressed, the country's competition watchdog said, opening up another front in its battle with the US giant.
In some areas of the market, Google takes in 100% of the revenue or ads traded, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. That degree of influence means Google is likely to have the ability and the incentive to use its own ad tech businesses and distort competition, the regulator said.
The interim report, part of the ACCC's inquiry into digital advertising services, stokes tensions further between the company and Australian authorities. The Alphabet Inc threatened to disable its search engine in Australia if the government enacts legislation forcing the company to pay publishers for news.
There is a real lack of competition, choice and transparency in this industry, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in the statement. The ACCC said it's seeking feedback on a number of ways to promote competition in advertising technology, including rules to manage conflicts of interest and prevent so-called self-preferencing in the supply of ad tech services.