The dominance of tech titans Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in the digital advertising landscape could be curtailed under new plans unveiled by the UK's watchdog The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
It wants to create a new Digital Markets Unit to expose how advertising revenue drives the business models of such major platforms.
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The new unit could impose fines on the companies if necessary.
Around 80% of the £14 billion of UK spending on digital ads last year went to those two companies. Astonishingly, Google has a more than 90% share of the search advertising market in the UK, the regulator has said.
The CMA launched a review into Britain’s digital advertising industry last year to assess whether Google and Facebook were harming competition.
In December, the watchdog flagged concerns with the pairs influence on the space.
"What we have found is concerning – if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out," said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive at the CMA.
It is now asking for the ability, among others, to order Google to share click and query data with rival search engines and force Facebook to give consumers a choice over whether to accept targeted advertising or not.