Testimony from the DOJ’s case shows that Google Search ads face competition and benefit advertises and consumers
The DOJ’s case against Google is flawed. Recent testimony emphasized how competition across digital advertising continues to grow– revealing yet another thorn in the side of the DOJ’s erroneous antitrust probe against Google.
1. Google Search ads face competition from Microsoft Bing ads
– The Home Depot’s Senior Manager of Paid Media, Ryan Booth testified that Google Search ads face “daily” competition from Microsoft Bing ads. The Home Depot’s witness was asked “Looking at a single campaign, how often do you adjust your paid search budget between Google and Bing?” Booth responded: “Daily basis.”
– Home Depot’s Booth explained his “Google and Bing investments are pretty much interchangeable.”
2. Advertisers mix-and-match ad formats, showing that search ads compete with a range of other channels
– IPG’s Lowcock testified that his company has seen growing advertiser spend across social media, as IPG advises clients on how to move between channels to increase ad performance. “If your question is: Do we train them [our employees] to move between channels to optimize performance, the answer is yes.”
– Lowcock also confirmed in his testimony AI will be transformational for search, and that this will translate to advertising as well.
– Arjan Dijk, the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com admitted that they moved from paid search ads to a direct advertising channel. “From 2019 to 2023 Booking increased its direct channel” and “reduced its paid search” spend.
3. Advertisers love the flexibility of Google Search ads – requiring “no commitments” – a stark contrast from TV and other formats
– JPMC’s Lim testified that the company ramped down its spending significantly and quickly in April 2020, made possible by the flexibility of Google Search ads requiring “no commitments” unlike other advertising formats. “Changes in paid search can be executed quickly” which was different from JPMC’s “upfront TV broadcast buys which have noncancelable terms.”
– Advertising company IPG’s Chief Media Officer Lowcock confirmed in his testimony that Google ads offer more flexibility than other advertising mediums. “[There are] certain advertising you cannot flex or move between channels because – you take TV, it’s an upfront buy. You’re committed to it, you can’t pull that money out without financial penalty.”