UK competition watchdog launches study into ad market dominance of Google and Facebook

The UK competition watchdog has opened an investigation into the dominance of Facebook and Google in the digital advertising market and is inviting submissions on the issue.

The Competition and Markets Authority will look at whether competition in the digital advertising market is “distorted” by the tech giants.

It said the study will look at “the sources of any market power, the way they collect and use personal data, and whether competition in digital advertising is producing good outcomes for consumers”.

CMA chairman Andrew Tyrie said: “Much about these fast-changing markets is a closed book to most people.

“The work we do will open them up to greater scrutiny, and should give Parliament and the public a better grip on what global online platforms are doing.”

The CMA study follows the Cairncross Review into the sustainability of the UK news industry which called for the watchdog to take a closer look at the digital ad market and identify whether it is working and what remedies, if any, are needed.

The Furman Report into digital competition also urged a review of the ad market, which was backed by Chancellor Philip Hammond. He said the CMA’s “expertise and information gathering powers make it uniquely placed to shine a light on this sector”.

Press Gazette launched its Duopoly campaign, calling on Facebook and Google to stop destroying journalism and pay more to publishers, in April 2017.

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