DOJ May Sue Google For Antitrust; Bayer In-Housing Effort Saved $10M Off The Bat

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Trust Issues

The Justice Department may open a case against Google over alleged antitrust violations in its search business. Back in 2013 Google was forced to make changes to its search ads business as part of a settlement with the FTC. But a new antitrust task force and growing concerns over the power of “Big Tech” has renewed the department’s interest. The task force is looking into Google’s advertising practices, its search business and its dominance in the online ad industry, The New York Times reports. More. Meanwhile, as government pressure grows, Google implemented a series of policies to protect user privacy, including cracking down on data collected by Chrome extensions and limiting developers’ ability to access data from Google Drive. CNBC has more.

Win-House

Bayer saved at least $10 million in media-buying costs in the first six weeks after taking programmatic in house, according to Paul Gelb, the brand’s head of programmatic and social. Agencies say that they can negotiate better rates with vendors than in-house marketers, but Bayer has been able to negotiate lower rates than its previous agency could. While Bayer still works with agencies for TV ad buys, it’s taking more media in house overall as spending shifts to digital, Digiday reports. “It is really hard to provide a significant amount of value in an agency today in a programmatic biddable medium,” Gelb said. More.

Browser Controls

Changes are afoot for the Chrome browser. Some updates, like its new user controls for deleting or restricting cookie data, are closely scrutinized by the entire digital media and marketing ecosystem. The changes are purportedly about privacy updates, but some are quieter, and happening at the developer level. One update to Chrome’s third-party extension code, called Manifest V3, will impede some of the more aggressive desktop ad-blocking services. Specifically, Chrome will prohibit third-party extensions that block ads or content before they reach the site server, reports 9to5Google. Enterprise customers, like schools or large businesses with their own internal versions of Chrome, will still be able to install tougher content-blocking code. More.  

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