Jason Kint Profile picture
15 Sep, 42 tweets, 16 min read
OK, I'm here. Google witness first. He's sharing a verbal version of G's propaganda blog post re: how much of ad supply chain gets captured by Google. Best thing I can say is regulators/lawmakers should demand an audit of G - not to mention he's not capturing the value of data /1
Now on to @HawleyMO. He's grilling on symptoms of too much power (antitrust) in Google's decisions affecting sites ability to use Google's ad platform. Also, here is a post from memory lane of a previous hearing between Google and Senator Hawley. /2
.@HawleyMO is absolutely correct about Google's market dominance and its influence over design, $, data rules over rest of "open web." Simple question is how this one company can make decisions which hurt its own financials? And if a decision helps Google..then who is harmed? /3
In terms of holding Google accountable for its harm to the market, @HawleyMO has been an amazing addition to Senate Judiciary. Will post vid shortly. He's doing a clinic on why DOJ, House, State AGs, AU ACCC, UK CMA, France, EU, et al have clear nonpartisan antitrust cases. /4
Senator Hawley just asked @amyklobuchar if he could have a bit extra time. The beauty of Google and antitrust is it's bipartisan. I would bet Senator Klobuchar would give Sen Hawley an hour if he wants it. This is brutal. /5
Google trying to deflect with their "I can confuse you about the ad tech stack" narrative (this is what they did with their filing in Australia) to dodge telling @HawleyMO that the principals (advertiser and publisher) do NOT know how much Google is making on transactions. /6
On to @amyklobuchar, she's dialed-in immediately on the ad stack, too. Hearing references to UK CMA report and other investigations. This so far is a case study on what we've been saying - that lawmakers/staff/etc have rapidly become much more informed on the issues. 🔥 /7
Rationale behind adtech acquisitions is focus of @SenAmyKlobuchar first questions. She may not also point out Google merged data across its ad tech stack and its own monopolies in 2016, nearly a decade after G promised not to do it. But the Texas AG (@KenPaxtonTX) has asked... /8
Brilliant. @SenAmyKlobuchar asking about limitations on YouTube inventory in 2015 which clearly benefited its ad stack according to testimony from CEO of top competitor last year (@bokelley). They're laughably leaning into GDPR roll-out which defies logic for so many reasons. /9
Good question by @SenAmyKlobuchar. Why would you force advertisers to use your ad software? She then asks a simple question, "why are we consistently hearing complaints" if Google continues to suggest they are working in the interests of publishers, advertisers and consumers. /10
Sometimes Google likes to use impressions, sometimes Google likes to use $ to downplay dominance. Suggestion YouTube is a small part of market is nuts. Video ads much more valuable and YouTube approaching 80% of digital video ad business. G tied other strategic assets to it. /11
Awesome question by @SenBlumenthal. Does Google firewall the data of the @hartfordcourant from using elsewhere? The answer is no. Google uses network effects to mine data across 75%+ of top one million sites. H helps advertisers buy Courant's valuable users cheaper elsewhere. /12
damn 🔥 @HawleyMO to Google, "no, no you can tell me here. it's much more interesting this way...to do it under oath" before he does a clinic on the likely starting point of State AG and Justice Department antitrust cases.
Watch this. /13
that time when Google tried to argue it wasn't the largest technology company to @SenMikeLee as if that would be a good defense point in an antitrust hearing on how it abuses the digital media marketplace. /14
Oooh, @HawleyMO back up asking about volume commitments on the buy side. ;) this is how Google dominates the demand side of advertising and influences on how that spend is executed. Hawley should stay on this. /15
This is where Google is arguably most at risk in ad stack. Using search and YouTube dominance to affect the entire stack of the "open web" essentially making the open web a "walled garden" leveraging its data dominance and G's efficiencies. "This looks like tying" - @HawleyMO /16
Google exec tried to argue it held back on roll-out of certain features helping publishers in programmatic because it was trying to protect the advertisers. That in itself shows Google making decisions impacting its own profits and against. /17
here comes @SenAmyKlobuchar on privacy. This intersection of privacy and data competition in an antitrust context is Google's third rail. They will try to use other stakeholders (publishers, small biz, consumers) to justify its decisions. No one tracks users more. /18
And @SenAmyKlobuchar asks Google "have you ever done a study whether users know what they agreed to in terms of privacy?" We've asked users and Google clearly violates consumer expectations. cc @HawleyMO @SenMikeLee @SenBlumenthal niemanlab.org/2019/04/does-g…
(note: Fixing typo. meant Fitbit not Nest ht @_jack_poulson )...
LOL. Google just implied a promise not to intermix data if it acquires Nest in order to target advertising. anyone who takes their word on this, please read: /20 propublica.org/article/google…
and @MarshaBlackburn zones in on my prior tweet now asking about the promises at time of DoubleClick acquisition vs changes down the road, conflict of interests, etc. by the way, if you need a good report to baseline on Google's data collection... /21 digitalcontentnext.org/blog/2018/08/2…
nailed it. "If you compared to the stock market, Google would have been prosecuted for insider trading. Has Google ever used the data collected about publishers or their users to steer advertising revenue towards its own properties?" - @SenBlumenthal /22
Google's only answer to market positions and moves that have clear anticompetitive concerns for publishers and users is arguing ing that Google's interests are aligned with the open web. /23
"Is it your testimony to this committee that Google has never merged or used data collected about publishers and their readers for its own commercial benefit?"
"I'm sorry Senator, it's such a broad question I can't say 'Yes' or 'No' here."
sigh.... /24
Google likes to take credit and synonymous with digital and the open web when it suits its interests... /25 OK, that's Google for now. I'll review later to see what I missed. Summary is data, antitrust and ad stack dominance with YouTube and Search monopolies to abuse market. /25
on to other witnesses. No disrespect to others but David Dinielli is likely the one that matters. He co-authored this paper with @ProfFionasm which is an easy to read roadmap to the antitrust case summarizing UK CMA report in process. /26 omidyar.com/wp-content/upl…
I only know current witness (Heimlich) as a Twitter account who regularly jumps into my timeline to defend off data protection and privacy movement ... probably 100 times. Apparently, he's well known in the adtech world. If he tries to push off privacy law then ignore him. /27
last witness will relentless defend Google - Szabo...
just hit [mute].
lol, Szabo is trying to argue Google isn't dominant and doesn't have market power. "even if you asked UK CMA they would admit it's a very flawed report"
lol, please, please press call the CMA and ask them if they agree with this assessment of their multi-year investigation. /28
I'm sorry, lol, Carl Szabo is stuck in the aughts. This Senate Committee is well-prepared and as @slayser8 noted, "they didn't come to play." I expect Szabo is going to get roasted. /29
Szabo is misleading @SenMikeLee. Every publisher knows that if they're using Google's Ad Server, more spend will be directed through Google's demand side and advertisers require it to go through Google's ad buying platform. /30
Szabo now using Google's 30% take of the average advertising spend claimed in Google's infamous blog post again misleading @SenMikeLee as that point looked at only one portion of the spend and ignored the value of data and capture of value elsewhere. /31
ack, Heimlich was absolutely on a roll making really good points on the ad stack. But then @SenAmyKlobuchar asked him what he would do and he leaned into interoperability. That's what the adtech and Google would prefer... that's not the solution. It's a delay tactic. /32
excellent. @SenMikeLee asks about planned changes to Chrome to improve user privacy. Heimlich correctly points out how Google can make this change and protect its own data collection needs. Fair - this is why it's relevant to antitrust. Szabo then blah blahs it. /33
Aargh, @SenMikeLee asks loaded question to Szabo whether bias in news could be reason for economic challenges in digital advertising. Szabo uses HuffPo as a new upstart publisher. Pro tip: these antitrust harms exist for HuffPo (part of Verizon) and all types of news sites. /34
get past the ridiculous intro into a question why Google couldn't solve a simple tech issue and stay to where Google confirms:
it was able to slow rollout of innovation driving significantly more ad revenue for publishers...proving @NewsCEO's point Google is our regulator. /35
this deserved its own thread it was sooo good but dropping it into this loooong live tweet chain from the hearing today.
Also a few more last clips. This made me 😂 it's what happens when you spend so much time defending the Duopoly you can't keep google and facebook straight. watch closely.
Heimlich in his closing question on remedies maybe unintentionally explains why data protection and antitrust are critical partners in dealing with Google's anticompetitive conduct. Strict data restrictions by business purpose if not break-up entirely otherwise you'll fail. /38
Heimlich also did a nice job explaining how Google used search and YouTube demand to become dominant in the ad tech space. /39
Watch how Heimlich explains to @amyklobuchar the rollout of header bidding and how it impacted publishers and advertisers (both sides of market which Google effectively controls). /40
Last clip. This is important. Advertisers/adtech want to use Google threat to kill privacy laws. Heimlich is right here but solution is antitrust+privacy with heightened limitations for companies seeing nearly all our behaviors. Enforced purpose limitations (GDPR/CPRA). /41

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More from @jason_kint

17 Sep
good art.
Here is the full cover story. It really does a nice job pulling together antitrust / political concerns, lobbying efforts, internal processes, employee outrage, previous reporting by @WSJ, @nytimes, others. A must-read for sure. And the art! ⬇️♥️😂⬇️
bloomberg.com/news/features/…
And Happy Birthday to @sarahfrier who co-authored with @KurtWagner8! Her thread is extra context here.
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep
These two posts, and how they were handled by Twitter and Facebook, will be studied for years.
You ask “Why North Carolina?” Well they’ve started voting in NC. He’s messing with the election in the very first state. Twitter is handling it appropriately by taking away amplification tools that provide the suppression velocity and reach. Facebook still not doing enough.
I can’t emphasize enough the elegance of Twitter’s policy here. In no way is Twitter suppressing the President’s speech (which they have right to do as a private platform). They are instead eliminating use of their social media tools to help spread it. This is good policy, @jack.
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
Peter Thiel needs to resign once and for all from the board of directors of Facebook.
Dines with white nationalists, defends rapes and goes underground to bankrupt press for revenge according to press reports. Who would sit on a board of directors with this person?
Dines with....
Read 10 tweets
9 Sep
This entire CNN report is a must-read with a number of chilling details... at a time when it's difficult to imagine we can still be chilled. cnn.com/2020/09/09/pol…
Just go read it. And then buy Woodward's book next Tuesday. cnn.com/2020/09/09/pol…
Disgusted. "Woodward pressed Trump on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's role in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Once again, Trump dismissed the US intelligence assessment and defends bin Salman: 'He says very strongly that he didn't do it.'"
Read 5 tweets
4 Sep
Listen to @SachaBaronCohen
Listen to this Member of Parliament of Singapore
Read 28 tweets
3 Sep
Yes, it’s a positive move. But remember:
- microtargeted political ads are problem and FB’s entire biz model
- Twitter banned all political ads (avoiding biz model debate)
- Google banned all microtargeted political ads
FB is making change for final week only.
Only Facebook...
Only Facebook knows how political ads has been used to microtarget the public with suppressing messaging based on their vulnerabilities. Only Facebook knows how this new move will affect campaign spending and intentions...
as election experts, lawmakers, regulators studying 2016 stated...banning microtargeted political ads is a “pause” until we better understand harmful effects, solutions. The alternative is chaos. FB is taking step away from chaos here of last minute subversion using its tools.
Read 6 tweets

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