Google’s share of online ad revenue questioned

The online search engine and advertising behemoth Google could be taken to court by the U.S. government.

A report out in the Guardian today outlines a possible antitrust suit that could be brought against Google after its newest advertising agreement with competitor Yahoo could leave Google with as much as 80 percent of all online advertising.

Yeah, you heard that right. Eighty percent.

No wonder traditional newspapers are worried they can’t compete in the online advertising game. Despite the Google-Yahoo agreement, things could be looking up for newspapers.

Google’s content sharing agreement with Yahoo allows the world’s largest search engine to place ads it sells onto Yahoo pages. The agreement came in June amid some newspaper dismay due to a previous agreement formed earlier this year between Yahoo and many of the nation’s publishers to create a new online advertising platform called AMP. When Google and Yahoo announced their agreement, the AMP platform set up with newspapers was not included. Or in other words, there was going to be more online ad placement on Yahoo sites, and more revenue, but newspapers were not going to get a share of it through their agreement with Yahoo.

If the federal government steps in, as it did with Microsoft earlier this decade, it could force Google and Yahoo to rethink their partnership and it could leave a window for newspaper publishers to get back into the game.

Still, 80 percent?

Newspapers are going to need a big window.

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