The antitrust lawsuit, filed this month by ten US states, reveals how Google can use personal data to gain market share on the ad market.
The lawsuit says that Google has "extraordinary information on every consumer." It includes everything anyone has ever searched on Google or Chrome, every email anyone has sent or read on Gmail, everywhere and every time anyone has ever traveled on Google Maps, everything anyone has ever done on every Android app, every video anyone has ever watched on YouTube, every meeting anyone has ever attended on Google Calendar, and everyone anyone knows in Google Contacts. This is the first-party data from Google. Then Google also has third-party data sources, including information from sites and apps that use Google services, from every online publisher and advertiser using Google ad products.
In September, this year, Google asked publishers if it could use first-party cookies on their websites when third party cookies aren’t available on the browser.
The prosecutors say Google can use this information advantage strategically to harm any publisher who refuses to use its intermediaries or, under the emerging, every publisher who refuses to allow Google to operate what it owns.
Targeted advertising with data (targeting and attribution) enables Google to charge higher prices to advertisers.
This data is used on the ad products and can help Google to build a new walled garden like YouTube, where publishers are content creators.
The state prosecutors are worried that Google’s decision to shut down third-party cookies on Chrome increases the information asymmetries between its exchange and other exchanges such as those in header bidding. This can be the first step in the creation of a new walled garden like YouTube.