Google regularly tweaked its ad auction system for Google Ads to meet revenue targets. This testified Google’s advertising chief, Jerry Dischler during the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) against the tech giant.
The competition lawsuit over Google Search’s dominance in the U.S. heard the testimony from the top executive in charge of Google’s advertising business, Jerry Dischler. In his testimony, the top executive opened up about the tech giant’s advertising practices, Bloomberg writes. It specifically talked about how it possibly disadvantaged advertisers by adjusting the auction prices of these ads to meet specific revenue targets.
Manipulating ad prices
The Google chief relies on previous statements made under oath in 2020. These described how the tech giant increased the price of an ad by five, or even 10 percent, for certain search queries. Customers who purchased these ads through Google’s auction system were unaware of these manipulations and price changes.
These secret adjustments to ad prices allow Google to generate more revenue during more difficult periods and better meet set revenue goals. This adjustment was applied at least once in 2019, according to internal emails made available by Dischler.
The email also reportedly discussed the possibility of generating more revenue by implementing Google Search more prominently in Chrome browsers.
The testimony reinforces the U.S. DoJ’s accusation that Google maintains its market dominance for Google Search, in particular through various options, including Google Ads. As a result, other providers hardly have a chance. The lawsuit will continue until November this year. A ruling from the U.S. court is not expected until 2024.