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Serious accusations: Did Google act anti-competitively with AMP?

The accusations weigh heavily. Google is said to have gained a decisive advantage over the competition with the introduction of AMP. The goal of the search engine giant was probably to give preferential treatment to its own advertising platform. Now an antitrust suit has been filed for violation of applicable competition law.

Twelve US states on lawsuit side

What exactly is AMP anyway? Spelled out, the abbreviation is Accelerated Mobile Pages. The goal of the format is to speed up certain websites. So if you want to give your website a speed boost, you can use the AMP format for shorter loading times & Co. But now accusations are being made that Google introduced the in-house format primarily for one reason. Website operators should be persuaded to spend more money on Google’s advertising network and leave the competition out in the cold. This is only one accusation, which is brought forth by a total of twelve US states.

These states no longer want to stand idly by and are now taking legal action. A lawsuit has already been filed against the gigantic Internet company. Since it is well known that judicial documents are easily accessible in the USA, you can now take a look at the lawsuit that sees Google in the dock. According to the complaint, internal documents that must have come from the search engine giant’s innermost circle are the linchpin. The documents show that an introduction of AMP only took place to give Google a decisive advantage. Publishers were to be lured with the possibilities of AMP and thus persuaded to use the in-house advertising network.

Throttling websites without AMP?

But there is another accusation in the room. Namely, Google is said to enable companies through AMP not only to speed up their Internet presence and thus make a better impression on potential customers. On top of that, the company is said to almost force advertisers to use AMP by unceremoniously throttling the web presence of pages without the fast format. If you take a look at the statement of claim, it becomes clear that we are talking about a delay of one second.

This may not sound like much, but in practice it is a significant disadvantage. Especially due to the ever-increasing importance of the so-called user experience, every millisecond counts for modern Internet presences. Now imagine that Google is just around the corner with its AMP format, promising far faster advertising. Of course, the turbo boost seems much more attractive if the previous page is artificially slowed down anyway.

Header bidding as an outdated technique

For advertisements, the so-called header bidding is currently still primarily used. Here, advertisers can present their ads on several websites at once. Of course, the accusation of throttling plays into this again. Google presents its AMP as the fast alternative to the “antique” technology and naturally scores points when ads based on header bidding perform far worse. The points of criticism brought forth are by no means new. Anyone who knows a little about the topic of search optimization knows exactly that Google has always acted in legal gray areas in these areas.

Experts warned, not without reason, as early as the release of AMP that this could have a negative impact on the entire advertising market. But the AMP format is just one piece of the puzzle of the whole problem. When reading the lawsuit, one comes across other frightening details that also affect us Europeans. For example, the Internet company is said to have been late in complying with the e-privacy rules that apply in Europe. This delaying tactic is not only a violation of applicable data protection law, but also provides another gigantic competitive advantage. We are curious to see how Google will respond to the serious accusations. So far, the company still owes us an explanation.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The accusations weigh heavily. Google is said to have gained a decisive advantage over the competition with the introduction of AMP. The goal of the search engine giant was probably to give preferential treatment to its own advertising platform. Now an antitrust suit has been filed for violation of applicable competition law. Twelve US states … (Weiterlesen...)

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