Google to Face Grilling on Online Advertising Before US Senate Antitrust Panel – Gadgets 360

Google to Face Grilling on Online Advertising Before US Senate Antitrust Panel – Gadgets 360

Alphabet’s Google will be questioned about its ad business in a hearing on Tuesday, with a particular focus expected on whether it misused its dominance in online advertising to drive profits.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican and chair of the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, is likely to also press Google on allegations that it is opaque in pricing advertising services, as its critics complain.

Lee is expected to express concern that Google may have broken US antitrust law, a source close to the panel said.

The tech giant made a series of purchases, including DoubleClick and AdMob, to help make it the dominant player in online advertising. Google maintains a tight grasp over each of the many steps between an advertiser looking to place an ad and a website looking to host it.

The panel will hear from Don Harrison, who took over as head of Google’s corporate development, which oversees advertising partnerships with other companies, in 2012.

Harrison, who testifies at a time when Google has few friends in Washington, will argue that the ad tech ecosystem is crowded and competitive, with Amazon and Facebook among Google’s powerful rivals, and that ad tech fees have fallen.

Harrison is also expected to argue that advertising is critical to supporting free websites, including Google search.

The hearing comes as the US Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit against Google within weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, the top Democrat
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