Germany is the latest to level potential anti-trust violations at Facebook and Google.  Germany’s anti-trust regulator has started a formal investigation into online advertising.  Google and Facebook have said they will cooperate, according to Reuters.

When you are an international company, it can be tricky to navigate different laws in different countries.  With the near ubiquity and market dominance of Facebook and Google in the online advertising market, they have become a pretty big target.

“Due to the great economic importance of this sector for advertisers and content providers active on the Internet and in view of discussions about the difficult competitive environment in this market, we have decided to examine this sector.” – Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt President via a statement

One of the targets under review is Google’s AMP (accelerated mobile pages) which increases faster page load times.  AMP use favors Google.  The faster load times will help SEO and give Google AMP users potentially better search rankings than putting content on other platforms.

“In future, preferentially the content of the mobile version of a website, rather than that of the desktop version, will be added to databases used to generate search results. This development, which will directly affect Google searches, could have a considerable impact on SEO and thus on a key aspect of online advertising, critics claim.” – Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt President via a statement

Other concerns under review:

  • Lack of transparency making it difficult for adverttisers to independently measure coverage
  • Whether online media companies prioritize their own inventgory on their own platforms
  • Ad fraud and Brand safety
  • Unfair advantage by merging reach and mass of acquired data.