To the Editor:
“Google Dominates a Hidden Market With No Rules,” by Dina Srinivasan (Opinion guest essay, June 25), makes claims about our advertising technology business that we strongly disagree with.
Independent reports show that the fees we charge our partners are lower than the industry average. In fact, the 100 largest news publishers — many of which have in-house sales teams that perform many of the functions provided by Google’s ad sales, exchange and brokerage operations — using our tools keep more than 95 percent of the revenue that their ad space earns, a far cry from the 50 percent Ms. Srinivasan cites.
While one section of Ms. Srinivasan’s essay refers to ad intermediaries in general, our advertising tools do not result in publishers “selling for up to 50 percent less than what it otherwise would,” as Ms. Srinivasan suggests. In fact, our research shows that publishers’ revenue increases when they use our tools — that’s why they choose to use them!
Ms. Srinivasan has ignored the inconvenient reality that this industry is highly competitive — with rivalry among household names like Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, Oracle, Twitter and News Corp, a company for which Ms. Srinivasan has consulted. We also face competition from a legion of lesser-known but fast-growing competitors like The Trade Desk and Magnite. Many of these rivals also offer ad platforms and tools similar to ours that cater to both advertisers and publishers.
While it may be an inconvenient truth for the lawsuits she is championing, it’s clear that competition in online advertising technology has reduced ad tech fees and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.
The writer is director of economic policy at Google.