Starting this year, I also plan on reading more academic papers, mostly around tech and policy. Recording my readings and (sometimes, observations + annotated copies on this newsletter). Please do recommend papers and share your insights!
What I Read This Week:
The antitrust lawsuit filed by Texas (and nine other states) against Google. [Link, PDF embedded in the middle of the article].
Here is a link to the document with my comments in the margins. [Link; Sorry about the file size, it is the price I pay for manual highlighting].
What You Should Know:
Advertising is a pretty complex ecosystem. Here is how it works:
- An advertiser, let’s say, Procter and Gamble, wants to advertise on a news website like The Print.
- Google connects Ford and The Print through a place called the ad exchange. For large advertisers like Ford, the exchange is called AdX.
- Ford uses an ad-buying tool to connect to the exchange.
- On the other side, The Print connects to the exchange using an ‘ad-server’ tool.
- Before Print’s website finishes loading, a bunch of auctions take place and you’re looking at a Ford ad.
The lawsuit’s argument is that Google owns all stages of the process. Google is batsman, bowler, and umpire, all at the same time. And Google has been using that to make money for itself while harming advertisers.
Oh, also, there was one innovation in the space called ‘header bidding’. It threatened to hurt Google so Google worked with Facebook to kill it.
Data Sufficiency and Shiny Graphs (from the source):