Google Accused of Limiting Yahoo Japan's Competitiveness in Targeted Search Ads Market

Japan's antitrust watchdog accuses Google of limiting Yahoo Japan's ability to compete in the targeted search ads market, prompting Google to change its practices under FTC oversight.

author-image
Rizwan Shah
Updated On
New Update
Google Accused of Limiting Yahoo Japan's Competitiveness in Targeted Search Ads Market

Google Accused of Limiting Yahoo Japan's Competitiveness in Targeted Search Ads Market

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., of employing tactics that limited Yahoo Japan's capacity to compete in the targeted search ads market from 2015 to 2022. According to the FTC, Google blocked Yahoo Japan from accessing technology needed to receive targeted ad revenue from searches on mobile devices, significantly limiting competition.

The FTC's investigation found that Google's agreement with Yahoo Japan, which allowed the latter access to Google's search engine and advertising technologies, included restrictions that effectively monopolized the market. "Google's actions had a significant effect of limiting competition," stated FTC official Saiko Nakajima.

In response to the FTC flagging the practice, Google swiftly changed its conduct and promised to give Yahoo Japan access to keyword-tied targeted ad tech. The FTC acknowledged Alphabet's change in behavior but remains vigilant, reserving the right to re-open the investigation if required.

Why this matters: This case reflects a broader global trend of increased regulatory scrutiny towards major tech companies and their business practices. It highlights growing concerns surrounding the unchecked dominance of large corporations and the urgent need for fostering fair competition in the digital landscape.

The FTC's action marks its first-ever administrative step against Alphabet, though no penalty was imposed. Google has submitted a plan to the FTC, committing to not restrict its technology provision to Yahoo for three years unless authorized by the commission. The FTC will continue to monitor Google's operations, with the tech giant agreeing to conduct regular inspections with outside experts and report annually on its compliance.

Key Takeaways

  • Japan's FTC accused Google of limiting Yahoo Japan's ability to compete in search ads.
  • FTC found Google's agreement with Yahoo Japan included restrictions that monopolized the market.
  • Google changed its conduct and promised to give Yahoo Japan access to targeted ad tech.
  • This case reflects increased regulatory scrutiny of tech companies' business practices.
  • Google submitted a plan to FTC, committing to not restrict tech provision to Yahoo for 3 years.