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Approximately 86% of online display advertising in the U.S. is bought and sold in real-time on electronic trading venues, which the industry calls "advertising exchanges." With intermediaries that route buy and sell orders, the structure of the ad market is similar to the structure of electronically traded financial markets. Alphabet (“Google”) has monopoly power in the exchange market, on the sell-side, and on the buy-side because it engages in conduct that lawmakers prohibit in financial markets. Google’s exchange shares superior trading information and speed with the Google-owned buy-side intermediaries, Google steers buy and sell orders to its exchange and websites (Search & YouTube), and Google abuses its access to inside information. In the market for electronically traded equities, we require exchanges to provide traders with fair access to data and speed, we identify and manage intermediary conflicts of interest, and we require trading disclosures to help police the market. Should we borrow these three competition principles to protect the integrity of advertising?
Dina Srinivasan researches and writes about tech and antitrust as a Fellow with the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale. She is also counsel, admitted in California, and, advises on antitrust and tech matters. Ms. Srinivasan is the author of “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook”, an academic paper published in the Berkeley Business Law Journal that explains the correlation between privacy and antitrust economics and Facebook’s monopoly power under U.S. antitrust law. Her research and commentary on tech and antitrust have been covered or cited by U.S. Congress, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, CNBC, BBC, and other publications and radio stations, domestically and globally.
Previously, Ms. Srinivasan was an executive with WPP, the world’s largest advertising holding company. She founded Effidia, an advertising technology company whose advertising technology was acquired by a division of WPP, Kantar Media SRDS. Ms. Srinivasan holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she studied law & economics and was an Olin Fellow with the Kauffman Program in Law, Economics and Entrepreneurship. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children.
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ISP, Thurman Arnold Project (TAP)