Google faces £20bn claim for depriving newspapers of ad revenue
Digital publishers allege tech giant uses ad technology to sideline them and hoover up revenue
Quite apart from anything else Google has every right to use whatever business structure it likes to take revenue away from other people. We do in fact desire there to be competition in the economy after all.
The tech giant is facing class action complaints in the UK and the Netherlands that it used its advertising technology to unfairly sideline publishers while hoovering up ad revenues.
The claim is being brought on behalf of all websites and publishers that carry online banner advertising, including newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media sites.
Toby Starr, a partner at the law firm Humphries Kerstetter, said alleged UK victims may have potentially lost up to £7bn in revenues since 2014.
“This includes news websites up and down the country with large daily readerships as well as the thousands of small business owners who depend on advertising revenue,” he said, “be it from their fishing website, food blog, football fanzine or other online content they have spent time creating.”
Newspapers advertising revenues have been hit particularly hard by the rise of Google as brand advertising and classified ad sales collapsed over the last two decades.
This is toss. Because that classifieds revenue hasn’t been lost to Google. It’s gone to Gumtree, Freecycle, Monster and Indeed for the job ads. The local papers have been screwed out of perhaps one third of their revenues by that lot. Given that the US newspaper industry’s economics resembled the local UK papers (the national UK newspapers had to deal with this a century and more back, as the country became a national newspaper market off the back of the trains) they’ve also been so affected.
It’s classified ads which have gone and classifieds haven’t moved to Google.