Google’s auction-based shopping solution faces criticism from European antitrust chief

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
November 08, 2019, 12:40 PM UTC

Rival comparison shopping engines have complained that Google’s auction forces them to “bid away the vast majority of their profit.” 

This piece cites European antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager saying that Google’s auction-based shopping remedy has failed to drive more traffic to its rival comparison shopping engines. The company had assured providing “equal treatment” for Product Listing Ads (PLAs), but it didn’t yield favourable results for European shopping comparison competitors.

Further, competitors accused Google that the traffic from PLAs is directly going to the merchant sites. Other criticisms include that there is no material difference between Google’s new auction solution and the previous system.

This article says that Google’s auction-based approach further harms consumers, as only three of the highest bidders are placed along with Google. At least one competitors in Europe is asking to initiate a “non-compliance case” that could bring forth more penalties for Google.

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