What Will Happen if Google Breaks Up?

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Ads & Analytics Team
March 16, 2023

Google is being sued by the Justice Department (again) over its ad business. You’ve probably seen the story mentioned in the news, but to quickly recap: it’s mainly centered on Google’s monopoly over ad space. It owns the platform (where people buy the ads), the exchange (where people sell the ads), and a massive network of inventory, including their own search engine (where the ad space ultimately lives). All of this culminates in a clear advantage over other platforms and advertisers. 

Of the many outcomes that may come from this lawsuit, its goal is to loosen the media giant’s chokehold over ad space and break it off into smaller pieces, the impact of which could be huge. So we turned the question over to our brilliant, talented, and sometimes cynical Ads & Analytics team: What would happen if Google broke up? 

Upon breaking up, what part of the business do you think Google would keep vs. sell off?

Many of Google’s business units were once individual companies. Would they spin off into their own businesses, or would someone else seek to acquire one of those aspects? Realistically, what company is in a position to own them?

Right now, Google has incentive to increase ad inventory on its own site to increase profits. If things broke apart, how would that affect Google search pages, organic results, and other aspects of what the consumer sees?

For people that sell inventory to the exchange, how does this impact them? Will they make more money or less, if things aren’t centralized?

For advertisers, what does this mean to them? Will ads be cheaper or more expensive?

Regulation in the tech and advertising industry seems inevitable in 2023, but we have yet to see where the winds will blow. If you’re interested in more information on the ever-changing landscape, reach out!