The news: During the second week of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google for alleged anticompetitive actions, the search giant dropped a controversial revelation. While on the stand last week, Google ads exec Jerry Dischler said the company sometimes raised prices on its auctions by 5% to 10% without notifying advertisers.
The specifics: During Dischler’s testimony, he confirmed statements made under oath in 2020 in which he said that Google sometimes raised prices on its auction by as much as 5% for some advertisers and that it was “possible” for some queries to jump as high as 10%.
The ad world reacts: Google has lost some goodwill with advertisers in recent months after a series of scandals involving low quality video ad placements and ad trackers on children’s content. Advertisers watching the trial have said that the rate of ad inflation is much higher than Google is letting on.
Our take: Whether Google inflated costs by 5% or 100% is hard to pin down without clear figures from the company. What the trial and strong response to Google’s statements indicate is angst toward the ad giant, which advertisers feel lacks transparency and raises prices without offering more in return.