Google’s ad services in the firing line of new bipartisan legislation

Bill would split up its ad tools and exchange services.

Ben Wodecki

May 20, 2022

1 Min Read

Bill would split up its ad tools and exchange services.

Google is the subject of a new bipartisan piece of legislation that if passed would force the company to split up its digital advertising services.

Introduced by senators from the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act would bar companies that annually process over $20 billion in digital ad deals from joining in more than one part of the digital ad process.

In Q1 alone, Google’s parent company Alphabet announced that of its $68 billion revenue, $54.66 billion was generated by advertising. That’s up from 44.68 billion the year prior.

Google’s ad services include tools that allow brands to sell and buy ads as well as an exchange where ad transactions are made. Under the terms of the bill, the company would have to break up its business.

The likes of Amy Klobuchar, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Richard Blumenthal have signed onto the bill which becomes the latest legislative swing at big tech firms.

Last October, several house democrats introduced legislation that would remove legal liability protections for tech giants whose algorithms lead to harm. The proposed Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Acy 1996 by limiting the liability protections for platforms that knowingly or recklessly make a recommendation of third-party information that harms users.

That same month, the Biden Administration sought feedback on plans to regulate AI-enabled biometric tech — a contentious issue that’s delaying AI legislation in the EU as lawmakers argue a ban on such systems would impact law enforcement work.

About the Authors

Ben Wodecki

Assistant Editor

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